With its 1.3 billion people and its position as the second largest economy in the world after the U.S., China has been the engine that powered much of global economic activity over the past 10 years.
So when China said its exports fell 18.1% year-on-year in February–economists had been expecting growth of 5%–it sparked waves of sales in equities and commodities that reverberated from New York to Frankfurt.
While it may be too soon to know whether the sharp drop in exports will be an ongoing narrative, one thing worth noting is that China’s exports have not fallen this dramatically since mid-2009 when the international financial markets were still reeling from the U.S. financial crisis.
– Sue Chang
Here is the link to China's monthly export growth chart.
This slump in export growth resulted in a sharp drop by China’s Shanghai A-Shares Index today (weekly & daily). This market is arguably cheap but investors remain worried about nonperforming loans for China’s banks which dominate the Shanghai A-Shares Index. Meanwhile, the sectors that continue to perform in China cater to the consumer.Back to top