In The Wall Street Journal, Jonathan Cheng reports that the export outlook for China looks bleak after the coronavirus. It should look bleak.
In the wake of the coronavirus, the American tech industry should begin the long process of pulling all production from China.
At home, the American Walmart shopper is no longer willing to see “Made in China” on everything in the store.
And Americans are fed up with incoming American college classes filled with Chinese students. The era of American universities catering to the children of China’s wealthy Communist Party members should be over. This figures to play out especially badly in Boston.
Cheng writes (abridged):
Outbound shipments from China dropped 6.6% in March from a year earlier, following a 17.2% decline in the January-February period, data from the General Administration of Customs showed Tuesday. The fall was much less steep than the 15.9% decline estimated by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.
Imports fell 0.9% year over year last month, compared with a 4% decline in the first two months of the year—and a 10% fall predicted by the economists. Overseas purchases of farm goods, commodities and medical supplies increased as Beijing moved to restart China’s economy after making progress in containing the coronavirus.
Overall in March, China notched a trade surplus of $19.9 billion, reversing a $7.1 billion deficit in the first two months of the year.
“March’s exports were buoyed by shipment of products that were undelivered in the first two months when China was snarled by the coronavirus,” said Zhaopeng Xing, an economist with ANZ.
China imposed factory shutdowns and tightened travel restrictions in late January when the severity of the viral outbreak first became clear to the central government in Beijing. The prevention measures put a virtual halt to all economic activity, including foreign trade, during the first two months of the year, which were reported together because of the timing of Lunar New Year holiday.
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