China's international trade performance came in weaker than expected during April 2017, according to the latest official data.
The Asian superpower's exports in April rose by eight per cent year on year in dollar terms, while imports were up by 11.9 per cent. However, forecasts by Reuters had predicted that these figures would rise to 10.4 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively.
For the month, China's trade surplus totalled $38.05 billion (€34.79 billion), higher than the projected $35.5 billion, and better than the $23.93 billion figure reported for March.
Weaker inbound shipments of commodities such as iron ore and copper were responsible for the underwhelming import data, while export growth more than halved due to falling demand for electronics. However, future prospects are expected to be more positive.
Julian Evans-Pritchard, China economist at Capital Economics, said: "Looking ahead, we expect export growth to hold up well given the relatively bright outlook for the global economy this year. Growth in inbound shipments will continue to face headwinds, however."
He explained that policy tightening is likely to exert downward pressure on domestic demand, with declines in commodity prices exacerbating this trend.