China's Exports Grow Less Than Forecast; Imports Growth Tops Expectations

China's Exports Grow Less Than Forecast; Imports Growth Tops Expectations

Imports in dollar-denominated terms grew 18.7% in September from a year earlier, beating analysts' forecasts for a 13.5% expansion and accelerating from 13.3% in August, customs data showed on Friday. The rise beat the poll's forecast for a 15% gain.

Exports rose 8.1%, below forecasts of 8.8% but handily beating August's 5.5%.

The gap, almost 20 percent more than the same period a year earlier, was attributed to service imports in tourism, transportation and other traditional sectors, the MOC said.

Demand for Chinese products has proven robust as growth in major trading partners holds up, though this trade report also gets a boost from a comparison with a low base a year ago.

The trade surplus narrowed in September to $28.47 billion from almost $42 billion the previous month, falling short of expectations for a $37.3 billion surplus.

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Exports increased 12.4 percent to 11.16 trillion yuan, while imports surged 22.3 percent to 9.13 trillion yuan, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said. The trade surplus was the lowest in six months.

The politically volatile surplus with the United States was $28.1 billion.

China's trade growth accelerated in September in a sign of resilient global and domestic consumer demand. US officials have resumed criticizing Chinese policy after President Donald Trump said in April he would temporarily shelve disputes while Washington and Beijing cooperated on North Korea. China's economy will grow 6.8 percent this year and 6.5 percent next year, also both 0.1 percentage point higher than its July forecasts.

"There are still some infrastructure investments ongoing and some stabilisation in property investment, so I would not worry too much about the impact of environmental efforts on the growth momentum", ANZ's Wang said.

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