China imports grow in August for 1st time in 2 years

Containers are loaded onto a cargo ship for export at a port in Qingdao in east China's Shandong province, Thursday Sept. 08, 2016. China's exports rose in August for the first time in two years, while the contraction in imports narrowed in a positive sign for global economic growth. (Chinatopix via AP)

China trade showed unexpected strength in August in a positive sign for global economic growth

BEIJING — China trade showed unexpected strength in August in a positive sign for global economic growth.

Imports rose by a better-than-forecast 1.5 percent over a year earlier, up from July's 12.5 percent plunge and the first monthly gain since 2014, customs data showed Thursday. Exports fell 2.8 percent but that was better than expected and an improvement over the previous month's 4.4 percent contraction.

The improvement in exports was a boost for Chinese leaders who are trying to protect millions of trade-supported jobs. Import growth suggested lackluster Chinese domestic demand might be recovering.

"A gradual recovery in global demand probably means some further upside to export growth in the coming quarters," Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a report. "Import growth should also pick up further on the back of stronger domestic demand and a further recovery in global commodity prices."

Chinese economic growth held steady at 6.7 percent in the quarter ending in June but that was the lowest quarterly level since the aftermath of the 2008 global crisis.

The communist leadership has warned China's economic outlook will be "L-shaped," meaning a five-year-long decline is expected to level off but there is no sharp rebound in sight.

An unexpectedly sharp decline in global demand for Chinese goods over the past two years threatened to disrupt Beijing's marathon effort to reduce reliance on trade and investment. Those plans call for nurturing domestic consumer demand but are based on holding exports steady to avoid politically dangerous job losses.

China's trade figures have been depressed over the past year by a decline in global commodity prices but trade volumes also weakened.

Exports totaled $190.6 billion in August while imports were $138.5 billion. The global trade surplus was $52 billion.

The trade surplus with the 28-nation European Union, China's biggest trading partner, was $13.6 billion. The gap with the United States was $25.2 billion.

___

General Administration of Customs of China (in Chinese): www.customs.gov.cn

Related News

China ratifies Paris climate deal ahead of G-20 summit

Sep 3, 2016

China announced on Saturday that it would formally enter the emissions-cutting agreement reached...

Hailing cooperation, US and China join global climate deal

Sep 3, 2016

President Barack Obama and China's President Xi Jinping on Saturday sealed their nations'...

US, Russia close on Syria deal, but Obama says not there yet

Sep 4, 2016

President Barack Obama says the United States and Russia are working "around the clock" to try to...

Bumpy beginning for Obama in China, starting on the tarmac

Sep 4, 2016

If President Barack Obama was hoping for a graceful start to his final trip to Asia as commander in...

Hong Kong election highlights rising anti-China mood

Sep 4, 2016

Polls opened in Hong Kong Sunday for the specially administered Chinese city's most crucial...

Britain's May seeks out new trading relations post-Brexit

Sep 4, 2016

British Prime Minister Theresa May says she intends to seize new trading opportunities for a...

Oriental News Today delivers breaking news and deep engaging content in Asia. It’s the only source you need for the latest Asia news.

Contact us: sales[at]orientalnewstoday.com