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Coronavirus Hit China’s Exports and Imports Plummet

It may take up to six months for China’s economy to recover, says a report on leaked notes of a private meeting held by Goldman Sachs after Coronavirus outbreak

SoDATA — China’s exports shrank by 17.2 per cent in January and February combined due to coronavirus’ impact — after reaching a peak in December 2019 showing 100 percent growth over 12 months.

China’s exports and imports both plunged over the first two months of the year, as the coronavirus tore through the world’s second-largest economy.

Exports fell by 17.2 per cent in January and February combined compared to the same period a year earlier, according to data released on Saturday by the General Administration of Customs.

The numbers mean that China ran a trade deficit over the first two months of the year, of US$7.09 billion, compared to the surplus of US$41.45 billion over the same period in 2019.

The trade numbers add to what has been a horrendous opening quarter for the Chinese economy, with many analysts predicting the first quarterly contraction in the economy since 1976.

Over the past week, a series of official and independent surveys gave the first indication of the damage done to an economy which was effectively forced to shut down after Lunar New Year (2020 is Chinese Year of the Rat), which is usually a time of an annual pause in economic activity in China.

According to Goldman Sachs, China’s economy has been largely impacted which has affected raw materials and global supply chain. It may take up to six months for it to recover, it said.

Before the virus swept through China, January actually looked like quite a strong month in economic terms, according to SCMP.

“The decline in foreign trade was mainly due to the impact of the novel coronavirus epidemic and the extended Lunar New Year holiday,” said a customs statement accompanying the numbers.

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