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China's exports soar as economy rebounds

December 7, 2020

China's exports surged in November as the Asian economy shrugs off the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The boom was fueled partly by high demand for PPE and consumer electronics for people isolating at home.

China Qingdao | Containerschiff im Hafen
Freight ships carrying containers in QingdaoImage: picture-alliance/AP/CHINATOPIX

China's exports in November rose 21.1% year-on-year, the fastest rate in almost three years, customs data showed on Monday.

Imports rose 4.5%, and the country's foreign trade went up overall by 13.6%, with the trade surplus rising to $75.4 billion ($62.2 billion) — the largest amount since at least 1981.

The surge comes as the world's second-largest economy continues to recover from the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic, while its foreign competitors are still largely obstructed by anti-virus controls.

Workers in China making masks
China has been supplying the world with masks and other protective equipmentImage: picture-alliance/Zuma/Sipa Asia/Caojianxiong

PPE and electronics

Demand for masks and medical equipment around the world is one factor driving the surge, along with a global thirst for consumer electronics as many families remain largely confined to their homes amid widespread lockdowns.

Chinese manufacturers have also benefited from the loans granted by the government to help cope with pandemic fallout since factories restarted operations in March.

China is expected to be the only major world economy to grow this year. Experts expect growth of 2-2.2%.

However, the future of China's economic relationship with the US remains uncertain after a two-year trade war between the two giants. US President-elect Joe Biden has yet to specifically outline his stance toward Beijing.

China grows its economy fast

tj/dr (AP, Reuters)