China's exports rose unexpectedly by 3.5 percent in U.S. dollar terms for the month April as factories restarted production and restaurants reopened following easing coronavirus restrictions. Meanwhile imports fell 14.2 percent, according to customs data on Thursday.
Economists in a Reuters poll estimated both imports and exports would suffer double-digit drops in April after a tentative recovery in March since the COVID-19 pandemic slashed global demand and disrupted supply chains.
In March, China's exports dropped 6.6 percent from a year ago, and imports edged down 0.9 percent in the same period.
The country's trade surplus in April stood at 45.34 billion U.S. dollars, compared to the poll's forecast of 6.35 billion U.S. dollars. In March, the number was 19.9 billion U.S. dollars.
As the daily number of new coronavirus cases slowed dramatically compared to February, when the pandemic was at its peak in China, the country's businesses are gradually back on track and most people have gone back to work.
However, new coronavirus cases are yet to completely stop. According to the latest statistics released by Johns Hopkins University, confirmed COVID-19 cases have exceeded 3.7 million globally, with the death toll surpassing 260,000.