The slump in China’s exports is expected to have extended into March while a collapse in oil price likely deepened a decline in imports, a Reuters poll showed, as the coronavirus cripples the global economy and overall demand.
Exports from the world’s second-largest economy are expected to have fallen 14% in March from a year earlier, according to a median estimate from the survey of 31 economists, slowing the downturn somewhat from a 17.2% contraction in January-February period.
Imports, meanwhile, are set to have shrunk 9.5% from a year earlier, the sharpest drop since July 2016 and versus a 4.0% decline in January-February.
The grim trade report is likely to reinforce views that China’s economy sharply contracted in the first quarter for the first time since at least 1992. Analysts are already forecasting a steep global recession this year as the virus has prompted worldwide restrictions on movement of people and goods.