BEIJING, Dec 6 — Declines in China’s exports likely slowed in November, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday, amid mixed signs factories in the world’s second-largest economy may be finding their footing after a bruising slump in demand.
Outbound shipments from China are expected to show a 1.1 per cent drop in November from a year earlier, following a 6.4 per cent fall in October and continuing the trend of narrowing declines for the fourth straight month, according to the median forecast of 28 economists polled.
Mixed manufacturing data for November has kept alive calls for further policy support to shore up growth but also raised questions about whether predominantly negative sentiment-based surveys reflected improvements in conditions.
A run of mostly upbeat data from October suggest support measures trickling out of Beijing since June bolstered a tentative economic recovery, even if a protracted property crisis and soft global demand continue to dog policymakers.
Consequently, the International Monetary Fund in November upgraded its China growth forecasts for 2023 and 2024 by 0.4 percentage points each.
But Moody’s on Tuesday slapped a downgrade warning on China’s credit rating. The contrasting takes on the health of the economy were apparent in the poll.
Morgan Stanley projected that China’s exports grew by as much as 2.0 per cent in November, while Citigroup forecast a 1.0 per cent increase. Barclays, Oxford Economics and ANZ, however, anticipate exports dropped by 5.0 per cent, 4.7 per cent, and 4.6 per cent, respectively, last month.
Analysts warn that China’s economy is running at different speeds across different industries, but point to a cyclical upturn in the global electronics sector as particular cause for optimism among Chinese manufacturers.
South Korea’s exports, a bellwether for global trade, rose for a second month in November, buoyed by chip exports, which snapped 15 months of declines.
But South Korean exports to China, a leading indicator of China’s imports, fell 0.2 per cent.
China’s imports are expected to have grown by 3.3 per cent, extending October’s gains, reflecting improving domestic demand.
The median estimate in the poll indicated that China’s trade surplus would increase, with analysts predicting it would come in at $58.00 billion, compared with $56.53 billion in October.
China’s trade data will be released on Thursday.