Chinese ports are getting busier, and that’s good news for the global economy.
New numbers out Tuesday (July 14) showed the country’s imports up 2.7% on the year in June - confounding expectations of a 10% drop.
Exports also edged up, again beating forecasts of a drop.
The figures will add to signs that China’s economy is starting to recover, and lifting global trade as it does.
But a Chinese customs spokesman still struck a cautious note:
"The uncertain and unstable factors facing the development of China's foreign trade have increased significantly, added to the impact of Sino-U.S. economic and trade frictions, the import and export situation in the second half of the year remains grim and complex.”
Even so, economic data out of Europe also mostly pointed in the right direction.
UK GDP rose 1.8% on the month in May, as lockdowns began to ease.
Though that won’t make much of a dent in the record 20.3% slump posted the month before.
And economists caution that a surge in jobless figures could be coming as government-funded furlough schemes wind down.
Euro zone industrial production also posted a gain on Tuesday, albeit less than expected.
But in Germany the latest ZEW sentiment index actually edged down in July.
It sank to 59.3, from just over 63 a month before.
The lower-than-expected number underscores how a global recovery remains far from assured.