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China foreign trade drops 10.9%, consumer and producer prices down

Staff writer |
Foreign trade continued to weaken in April but exports decline narrowed, official data showed.

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Last month, the foreign trade volume dropped by 10.9 percent year on year to 1.96 trillion yuan ($320.56 billion) from a year earlier, following a 13.5 percent decrease in March and an 11.3 percent increase in February, said the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

April's exports declined 6.2 percent, 8.4 percentage points less than the 14.6 percent slump in March that posed narrowed declines. Imports remain anemic, extending contraction from March's 12.7 percent to 16.2 percent last month.

Total foreign trade posted a 7.3 percent decrease in the first four months, falling to 7.5 trillion yuan, with exports rising 1.8 percent and imports dropping by 17 percent, according to GAC data.

Trade surplus soared by 85.2 percent to 210.21 billion yuan last month, while expanding 3.4 times to 965.37 billion yuan in the Jan-April period, the GAC said.

After discounting seasonal factors, April's trade volume declined by 10.6 percent, a little better than the 10.9 percent drop.

China's producer price index (PPI), a measure of costs for goods at the factory gate, plunged 4.6 percent year on year in April, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Saturday. The April PPI marked the 38th straight month of decline, suggesting continued weak market demand.

On a monthly basis, the April PPI dipped by 0.3 percent, widening from 0.1 percent registered in March.

China's consumer price index (CPI), a main gauge of inflation, grew 1.5 percent year on year in April, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) announced on Saturday.

The reading slightly rebounded from 1.4 percent in March and 0.8 percent in January, the lowest level in more than five years.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices in April edged down 0.2 percent, narrowing from a 0.5 percent drop recorded in March.

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