July Data Indicates Improvement in China’s Economy

According to trade data released late last week, China’s economy is on the rebound, with exports in July rising 5.1 percent year-on-year and imports climbing 10.9 percent. Global stock markets were quick to respond to the good news and shares climbed in European cities, Seoul and Hong Kong on Thursday. After recording its worst performance in thirteen years in 2012, the July 2013 trade figures soothed investor anxiety related to China’s economic recovery. Although the recovery is not necessarily considered to be solid, president of government think-tank Chinese Academy of International Trade and Economic Cooperation, Huo Jianguo, pronounced the July figures as being “satisfactory”, noting that exports had returned to the normal growth track and that the recovery on imports signaled an easing on the downward pressure the Chinese economy had been experiencing.

July’s shipments from China to the European Union and the United States showed an increase for the first time in five months, being 5.27 percent year-on-year for the United States and 5.87 percent for the European Union. These figures also indicate that some of the European Union member countries are experiencing a measure of economic recovery.

While China’s exports are far from the double-digit expansion experienced in the past, exporters have retained their markets through economic transformation and restructuring. Among these measures have been the simplification of customs clearance and the reduction of some administrative fees relating to imports and exports. Huo reportedly expressed his confidence that China is in a position to achieve its economic growth target of 8 percent for 2013.