Beijing—China’s exports rose in March for the first time in six months, customs data showed Thursday, as the world’s second-largest economy continued its economic recovery following the end of onerous coronavirus curbs late last year.
Total exports soared 14.8 percent year-on-year, the data showed, a sharp rise from last March when strict virus lockdowns crippled normal economic activity.
The first jump since September upended the expectations of analysts, many of whom predicted a further decline, according to Bloomberg News.
“The positive surprise may be partly due to a low base effect — the Covid outbreaks in March last year forced many factories to shut down,” said Zhiwei Zhang, of Pinpoint Asset Management.
The strong growth may also be a result of “inventory and order cycles for exporters”, Zhang added.
China abruptly ditched some of the world’s strictest Covid curbs in December, unleashing a wave of cases that prevented many businesses from operating normally.
The outbreak “likely depleted factories’ inventories”, Zhang said, but added that “factories are [now] running at full capacity (and have) caught up the cumulated orders from the past”. Imports contracted 1.4 percent, the data from the General Administration of Customs showed.