The World Bank has revised its economic forecast for China down to 4.3% this year, from a higher expectation of 5.1% in December, amid COVID-19 outbreaks and changes in the global environment, according to a report released on the 8th. The World Bank said in the report that the growth momentum is expected to rebound in the second half of the year with aggressive fiscal stimulus, monetary easing, and further relaxation of housing sector regulations to mitigate the economic downturn and, with that, China’s economic growth is projected to rebound to 5.2% in 2023.
China’s imports and exports totaled USD$2.4 trillion during the first five months of 2022, growing by 8.3% year-on-year, according to the General Administration of Customs. Among that, imports increased by 4.7% from last year to USD$1.06 trillion. China’s trade value with the U.S. was 3rd place, with USD$299.4 billion.
The latest data from the General Administration of Customs of China show that China’s January-May grain imports were 66.52 million metric tons, a slight decrease of 0.2% over the same period in 2021. China imported 15.91 million metric tons of grain in May, a slight increase of 0.2% over the same period last year.
In May, the U.S. was the largest supplier of corn to China, importing 1.9 million tons of U.S. corn, up 26.45% from the previous month and slightly more than the 1.89 million tons in the same period a year ago. In addition, China imported 1.73 million tons of soybeans from the United States, a significant increase of 608% over the same period last year.
China’s major ports handled over 23 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containers in May, up 4.2% from a year ago, according to the Ministry of Transport on June 2nd. The cargo throughput of major ports monitored reached 1.03 billion metric tons, an average daily increase of 3.2% compared with April, data from the ministry showed.
China’s cashless and card-less trend continues to grow. The number of online payment users in China amounted to 904 million at the end of 2021, according to the Payment & Clearing Association of China’s report on the 15th. The figure accounted for 87.6 percent of the country’s total citizens and was up by nearly 50 million from a year ago.
Many cities in China, including Beijing, have shortened the quarantine time requirement for incoming visitors, from the original 21-day quarantine period to four to seven days. Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Administration of China has also adjusted its rules for international passenger flights since June, reducing the chances of flights being fused.
China has recently reinforced its measures to encourage everyone to be vaccinated. Along with the news that major metropolitans have shortened the quarantine requirement from 21-day to 4-7 days for international travelers, it feels like China is trying hard to be ready to open its border again. Both work and life are almost back to normal after the impacts of Omicron during the Q2.