China's exports and imports see slower growth
Published: 10th May 2012 06:30:44
China's export and import growth slowed in April raising fears about a sharp slowdown in its economy and triggering calls for monetary policy easing.
Exports rose by 4.9% in April from a year earlier, down from the 8.9% annual growth seen in the previous month, a sign that global demand may be slowing.
Meanwhile, imports rose just 0.3% on the year, down from 5.3% in March, indicating a fall in domestic demand.
China has been trying to boost domestic consumption to rebalance its growth.
"It is quite a revealing number. What we are seeing in China at the moment is an economy that is very much exposed to the global volatility," Alistair Thornton of IHS Global Insight in Beijing told the BBC.
"It is clear that the situation in Europe is dragging on China's export performance, and in turn on its overall growth."
China's robust economic growth in the past few years was accompanied by a sharp rise in inflation and a surge in property prices.
If the government does not relax policies further, all factors that dragged growth down in the first three months will still remain in the second quarter”
As a result, Beijing introduced various measures, including curbs on lending, to try to rein in consumer and property price growth.
While it has since eased some of those policies, analysts said the effects of the tightening were still being felt.
"China's economy is still to bounce back from the cumulative effect of the monetary tightening last year which is impacting domestic demand," said Mr Thornton of IHS Global Insight.
China's central bank has reduced the amount of money banks must hold in reserve twice in the past few months in a bid to increase lending. The hope is that more easily available credit will spur investment and boost demand.
However, some analysts said that the government needed to ease its policies even further.
"If the government does not relax policies further, all factors that dragged growth down in the first three months will still remain in the second quarter," said Jianguang Shen of Mizuho Securities Asia.
"China needs not only to loosen monetary policies, it also needs to relax curbs on local government financing vehicles and the property sector."
Over the past few years China has relied heavily on the success of its manufacturing sector and exports to boost its economic growth.
However, economic problems in the key US and eurozone markets have dented demand and hurt growth.
While there had been hopes of an economic recovery in those markets, recent data and developments have suggested that the recovery may take much longer.
In the eurozone, the region's debt crisis fears have re-emerged after voters in France and Greece backed politicians who are opposed to state spending cuts.
In the US, jobs growth, which is seen as key to a recovery in the world's biggest economy, slowed in April.
China's policymakers have also found it tough to boost domestic demand enough to offset lower growth in exports.
Given these issues, analysts say the recovery in China's trade is likely to be a very slow one.
"We do expect things to improve. However, it is not going to be a sharp V-shaped recovery but a slow and volatile one amid plenty of weakness in both the domestic and global economy," said IHS Global Insight's Mr Thornton.
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Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. China's exports and imports see slower growth [Online] (Updated 10th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1427608/Chinas-exports-and-imports-see-slower-growth [Accessed 9th Mar 2014]
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With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
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