As global economies struggle to rebuild after months of setbacks induced by the global coronavirus pandemic, China is defying all expectations and claiming to fill a trade void left by countries with contracting economies and stifled exports.
To that end, China announced Friday its exports rose by an unexpectedly strong 7.2 percent in July as the world’s second-largest economy defied predictions and roared into life after initial pandemic setbacks.
China, where the pandemic began in December, was the first economy to shut down to fight the coronavirus and the first to reopen after the ruling Communist Party declared victory over the disease in March just as the rest of the world was hit and slid into recession.
Sales to the United States alone jumped an unexpected 12.5 percent despite a plunge in U.S. economic activity and a lingering tariff war with Washington, customs data showed, according to AP.
Global exports accelerated from June’s three percent gain and exceeded forecasts of little to no growth.
“There is an overall improvement in exports in July from June, not just medical supplies which had previously been the main contributor,” said Iris Pang of ING in a report. She pointed to gains in shipments of electronics, autos and clothing.
Chinese exports recovered faster than the global total, suggesting manufacturers are taking market share from competitors in countries that might still be under restrictions that hamper trade.
Exporters also benefited from a surge in demand for Chinese-made surgical gloves, masks and other medical supplies urgently needed to cope with the coronavirus infection.
AP contributed to this story