China (Trade, March) : Exports down, re-focus on domestic demand

March exports surprised on the downside, contracting 15% y-o-y, compared with consensus and our expectations for positive growth. The slowdown is bigger than seasonal fluctuations can explain and points to softer underlying external demand. Slower growth momentum in the US in recent months may be one factor at play, although exports to the EU and Asia have also weakened. Imports continue to contract due to lower prices, but volume growth has started to stabilise. Today's disappointing trade numbers will put pressure on policymakers to re-focus on domestic demand, and we continue to expect easing to be stepped up in the coming weeks. Full report attached

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