Apr 16, 2021|

JDT Chief Economist: China’s Q1 Trade Data Reveals a Shift in Global Recovery Momentum


by Vivian Yang

Dr. Jianguang Shen, chief economist of JD Technology published an article on Apr. 15 on FTChinese.com in conjunction with China’s March trade data release. He believes the data sends a strong signal for a shift in global recovery momentum.

Dr. Shen pointed out that unlike in 2020 when China filled the acute global supply shortage with exports, the country’s recent imports and exports are mainly fueled by developed economies’ large-scale stimulus plans as they emerge from the pandemic with vaccinations in position.

China’s imports in US dollar terms rose 38.1% in March from a year ago, a much higher-than-expected jump. “Rising demand from overseas market is driving up exports …while China could be importing inflation as extremely expansionary fiscal and monetary policies led to price surges,” he wrote.

Dr. Shen noted that though the exports growth rate in March slowed down from 60.6% in January and February to 30.6%, it “remains resilient” for the world’s second largest economy given that foreign demand keeps picking up and China continues to be the main partner with dependable supplies of goods for countries of different needs.

The article said that China’s export categories have been shifted from pandemic prevention products to more home and consumer goods. Exports of real estate-related goods such as furniture (+48.9%), home appliances (+83.6%), and lighting (+52.1%) saw a strong surge. Exports of mobile phones, bags and clothing and more which experienced serious declines in exports during the pandemic, posted double-digit recovery.

Dr. Shen also warned that emerging markets face more difficulties in recovering their economies and people should pay close attention to the formation of a more divided post-COVID world.

Dr. Shen and JD Research Institute, a think tank he leads, provide macroeconomic analysis and policy suggestion as well as cutting-edge research, data, and industry analysis for all sectors. He is a frequent commentator and columnist for media in China and internationally.

Dr. Shen is invited to participate Boao Forum for Asia 2021, which will be held Apr. 18 to 21 in Hainan province, where he will offer his advice and suggestions. The event will be the world’s first large-scale on-site international conference since the pandemic broke out.