In June, China’s exports increased by 32.2% year-on-year, up from 27.9% in May. Imports, meanwhile, grew by 36.7%, down from 51.1 percent the month before.
This trade performance contributed to China’s 7.9 percent GDP growth in the second quarter and 12.7% overall growth through the first half of 2021.
The high growth numbers reflect the previous year’s unprecedented trade disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, as the world economy came to a standstill amid international border closures and lockdown measures. Because of the previous year’s low base, this year’s trade numbers are particularly eye popping on the surface.
Even factoring in this caveat, however, China’s trade through the first half of 2021 has still been more robust than most economists expected.