Chinese exports fell at the steepest pace in more than two years in November, the latest indication of how the country’s pandemic restrictions and waning global demand for goods is throttling China’s economy, reports The Wall Street Journal. Outbound shipments from China plunged 8.7% year-over-year last month, the biggest dip since February 2020, when a nationwide lockdown ground economic activities to a halt. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 2% drop.
The sharper-than-expected plunge comes amid weakening factory activity and a sluggish recovery in China’s property sector, adding pressure on Beijing to shore up economic confidence at home.
November’s data may also portend badly for the global economy, economists say, as a sustained slide in Chinese exports sends a signal that a boom in trade that powered global growth in 2021 is fading, adding to the risk of a recession. Central banks in the U.S. and other developed countries have been raising interest rates to tame inflation, dampening demand for Chinese goods.