Beijing, China (4E) – China September exports surprisingly declined, an indication of softening worldwide demand for its products and a possible headwind for the world’s second-largest economy.
Shipments abroad fell 0.3 percent from a year ago, according to the General Administration of Customs report released Saturday in Beijing, short of all 46 estimates that had a median forecast of a 5.5 percent advance according to a Bloomberg News survey.
Imports jumped 7.4 percent from the previous year, a slight increase from the 7 percent gain in August and surpassing economists’ median estimate of a 6.75 percent advance. China’s September trade surplus narrowed to $15.2bn from $28.52bn in the previous month.
The result poses a challenge to Premier Li Keqiang and his government’s 7.5 percent GDP growth target for 2013. This week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) lowered its outlook for global growth as capital outflows to emerging markets continue to weaken and cautioned that a government default in the U.S. could “seriously damage” the global economy.
Economists’ estimates for exports ranged from 1 percent growth to 8.2 percent. September’s trade surplus figure compared with a median estimate of $26.25bn and the previous month’s $28.5bn excess.