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China says August exports beat expectations, jumping 9.5% from a year ago

A US cargo ship is seen at the Yangshan Deep-Water Port, an automated cargo wharf, in Shanghai on April 9, 2018.

Johannes Eisele | AFP | Getty Images

China’s dollar-denominated exports beat expectations to rise 9.5% for the month of August from a year ago, data from the country’s General Administration of Customs showed on Monday.

Meanwhile, China’s dollar-denominated imports in August fell 2.1% from a year ago.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected exports to have climbed 7.1% in August from a year ago compared with a 7.2% rise in July, while imports were expected to climb 0.1% in August from a year ago, reversing a 1.4% decline in July.

China posted a trade surplus of $58.93 billion for the month of August, beating the $50.50 billion economists had expected. China’s trade surplus was $62.33 billion in July.

The strong export numbers over two consecutive months would boost Chinese growth in the second half of the year, said Bo Zhuang, chief China economist at TS Lombard.

He added that even though import numbers for August were disappointing, demand for commodities was “very strong.” However, imports of machinery were weak.

“Chinese (were) buying more of the raw materials but still quite pessimistic on the investment outlook based on the import numbers,” said Zhuang.

As export growth was driven by demand for personal protective equipment and work-from-home items like computers, the strong showing is likely to slow in the months ahead, said Zhuang.

“Once European or American households have bought one laptop or two game consoles they are not going to continue to buy these type of goods for the foreseeable future,” he said.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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