China’s exports dropped 6.6% while imports were down 11.3% compared to the same period in 2013, according to data released by China’s General Administration of Customs.
Although the high base last year was suspected to be fabricated, the new data was still below expectation.
The value of exports in March was US$170.1 billion and that of imports was US$162.4 billion, creating a surplus of US$7.7 billion.
“There does not seem to be much improvement in external demand,” BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research writes in a report. “The U.S. retail sales weakness persisted in February, while Euro area PMI stayed almost unchanged in March with a drop in the German reading.”
The weak imports can be attributed to the weak level of domestic demand growth and lower commodity prices, writes in another report published by Gao Hua Economics Research.
China’s Premier Li Keqiang said the government will not resort to short-term strong stimulus policies just because of temporary fluctuations on the day the data were released.