Shanghai’s foreign trade quickens

Updated 2017-05-18 09:00:38 Shanghai Daily

Shanghai's foreign trade growth accelerated in April amid economic indicators revealing a mixed picture in the economy.

Shanghai's total imports and exports rose 17.8 percent in April from a year ago to 253.2 billion yuan (.8 billion), faster than the 15.2 percent increase in March, the Shanghai Statistics Bureau said yesterday.

Imports growth accelerated to 25 percent but growth in exports slowed to 7.6 percent, the bureau's data showed.

The imports were lifted by a 65.7 percent jump in imports by state-owned companies, while exports by SOEs fell 11.2 percent year on year.

The bureau also said Shanghai's Producer Price Index, a gauge of inflation at the factory gate, rose 4.4 percent year on year in April, 0.3 percentage points slower than March.

A lower PPI growth is usually associated with weaker demand from companies.

However, consumer demand grew stronger as the year-on-year increase in retail sales accelerated to 7.9 percent in the first four months of 2017 from the first quarter's 7.8 percent.

Earlier data showed Shanghai's industrial production and fixed-asset investment slowed in April while home sales improved and consumer inflation warmed up.

The city's Consumer Price Index, a main gauge of inflation, rose to 1.6 percent year on year in April from March's 1.4 percent.

Medical and health care led the price hikes by jumping 8.5 percent, followed by a 2.8 percent increase in house rents and maintenance expenses.

Food prices added 0.2 percent while transport and communications prices fell 0.8 percent.

The Shanghai data echoed the national figures to indicate moderation in economic momentum.

The National Bureau of Statistics said China's manufacturing activity, foreign trade, industrial production, retail sales and fixed-asset investment growth slowed in April, while consumer inflation heated up to a three-month high.

Economists said China's economic growth may slow in the second quarter but the official target of 6.5 percent growth will be met this year.

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