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Leading indicator points to steady export growth

Updated: May 19,2018 6:36 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s exports are expected to maintain steady growth in the coming two or three months, according to official data.

The Export Leading Indicator (ELI), a barometer of export development, came in at 41 in April, unchanged from the previous month, according to the General Administration of Customs (GAC).

The ELI is a comprehensive index covering changes in indicators including the yuan real exchange rate, foreign direct investment, demand at major markets, and a monthly online survey of domestic exporters.

The index ranges between 0 and 100. A higher reading suggests improving export performance in the next two or three months, and a lower reading indicates downside risks.

The GAC said the monthly online survey of around 2,000 export companies, whose aggregated export value accounts for 37 percent of the country’s total, showed that export managers’ index was 44 in April, down by 0.3 point from the previous month.

The new export order index edged up to 47.9 from 47.8 in March, while the export managers’ confidence index declined to 50 from 50.8.

The survey showed 30.3 percent of the companies recorded increasing value in their new export orders, up from 29.8 percent in March. Some 37.6 percent of them saw falling new order value, down from 38.3 percent in March.

It also confirmed downside risks, with an increasing number of companies taking a dim view of the export outlook for the next two or three months and more of them reporting higher export costs.

The country’s exports in yuan terms rose 3.7 percent year-on-year in April to 1.27 trillion yuan.