BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s June exports rose 11.3 percent from a year earlier in dollar terms, encouraging news for policymakers looking to soften the blow from an intensifying trade row with the United States, while imports grew 14.1 percent, lagging expectations.
China posted a sizable trade surplus of $41.61 billion for the month, customs data showed on Friday. Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast the trade surplus would increase to $27.61 billion in June from $24.92 billion in May.
The Reuters poll had also predicted June shipments from the world’s largest exporter to have risen 10 percent year-on-year, compared with a 12.6 percent gain in May.
Import growth had been expected to slow to 20.8 percent last month, compared with 26 percent in May.
For the first half of this year, exports rose 12.8 percent from the same period in 2017, and imports rose 19.9 percent.
China’s trade performance has got off to a strong start this year, supported by sustained demand at home and abroad.
But the export outlook is being clouded by a heated trade dispute with the United States, with both countries slapping tit-for-tat duties on each other’s goods last week.
Investors worry that the Trump administration’s threat to impose more tariffs on Chinese goods could disrupt its shipments and global supply chains in a blow to investment and growth. A cooling property market could also curb China’s demand for imported raw materials such as iron ore.
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