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China spreading ‘positive news’ of strong export rebound in early March after February plunge

China spreading ‘positive news’ of strong export rebound in early March after February plunge

China’s unusual advance release of trade data in early March was a bid to spread “positive news that could help shore up confidence” after exports in February posted the steepest drop in three years, analysts said.

Exports in the first nine days of March surged 39.9 per cent, compared with the same period last year, according to detailed data released over the weekend by the General Administration of Customs.

It followed figures released on Friday that showed February exports tumbled 20.7 per cent compared to the same period last year, as the world’s second-largest economy suffers from an economic slowdown compounded by the effects of the US-China trade war.
“Positive news on exports could help shore up confidence a bit and thus stabilise the economy and help drive a moderate recovery,” said Allan von Mehren, China economist at Danske Bank. “I do think [the advance March data announcement] may be because of the overall concern over the economy and negative sentiment that is pervasive among households and companies.”