By Gina Lee
Investing.com – China saw exports rise for a third consecutive month but saw an extended fall in imports, with loosening lockdown measures globally boosting the country’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
Customs data for August released earlier in the day said that increased 9.5% year-on-year, beating the 7.1% in forecasts prepared by Investing.com as well as July’s 7.2% increase. However, fell 2.1% year-on-year, bigger than the forecasted 0.1% drop and the 1.4% drop for the previous month.
The increase in exports, attributable to record shipments of medical supplies and increased demand for electronics, suggested a faster and more balanced recovery for the world’s second largest economy, and a continuing rebound from the record slump seen in the first quarter due to strict lockdowns Imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The , released during the previous week, also saw the first increase in new export orders this year in August for Chinese factories, with loosing lockdown measures slowly reviving demand outside China.
“China’s exports continue to defy expectations and to grow significantly faster than global trade, thus gaining global market share,” Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics told Reuters.
But he warned, “The import data disappointed, pointing to the need for caution as we assess growth of China’s domestic demand.”
However, a resurgence of COVID-19 could mean tighter control measures, such as the reimposition of lockdowns, and impact exports’ growth.
Meanwhile, the stood at $58.93 billion, higher than the forecasted $50.50 billion but lower than July’s $62.33 billion figure.Simmering U.S.-China tensions ahead of the U.S. presidential elections means that China is looking to reduce its dependence on exports and overseas markets. China’s trade surplus with the United States jumped to $34.24 billion in August from July’s $32.46 billion, indicating that China remains behind on its pledge to boost purchases of U.S. goods under the agreement between the two countries launched in February.
But with U.S. and Chinese trade officials reaffirming their commitment to a Phase 1 trade deal in a phone call in August, “Both sides see progress and are committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure the success of the agreement,” according to U.S. Trade Representative’s office. The office during the previous week extended tariff exclusions for a wide range of Chinese goods, including smartwatches and some medical masks, through the end of 2020.
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