BBC Chinese recently reported that China’s February total exports suffered a year-over-year decline of 20.7 percent. This is the lowest point in three years. China’s imports declined by 5.2 percent. These numbers brought down the Asian stock markets significantly. Some suggested that the numbers might be the result of the Chinese New Year. However, most economists expressed their belief that the general expectation was a decline of 4.8 percent. The reality was five times worse than the expectation. Even with the seasonal impact factored in, the official numbers were quite negative. Some researchers indicated that the U.S. Tariff is having an impact on exports to the U.S. globally. Although the U.S.-China trade talks are still on-going, yet the uncertainty kept bringing doubts to the market. Currently the global market demand is still weak. Even if President Trump and President Xi quickly reach an agreement, China’s export outlook remains very bleak.
In the meantime, according to the China Automobile Dealers Association (CADA), China’s February domestic passenger vehicle sales recorded a year-over-year decline of 18.5 percent and a month-over-month decline of 45.4 percent.
1. BBC Chinese, March 8, 2019
2. East Money, March 9, 2019