China exports rise, offer buffer to slowing economy

Chinese exports rose more than expected in October, offering Beijing some relief as it battles to shore up its slowing economy.

The world’s second-largest economy has been hit by a slew of headwinds this year, including slower growth at home and abroad, high debt levels and trade frictions with the United States.

Exports rose 12.3 percent to .6 billion in October from a year earlier, beating forecasts for a 10.2 percent rise according to the Reuters poll of 39 economists and well above September’s 4.4 percent gain which was revised up from an initial 3.9 percent. That was the biggest increase since March and stronger than September’s 3.9 percent rise, which was the weakest in three months.

Imports rose 6.7 percent to .2 billion versus forecasts of a 13.0 percent rise and September’s .3-billion increase, the General Administration of Customs said on Friday. That left the country with a trade surplus of .1 billion in October compared with forecasts for a .3-billion deficit and September’s .2-billion surplus.

Exports to the United States, China’s biggest market, rose by 13.5 percent in October from a year earlier while shipments to the European Union, its second largest market, increased 9.1 percent. Meanwhile, exports to Asia fell 9.0 percent while those to the Americas were down 7.3 percent.

China’s economy has shown signs of slowing this year, with GDP growth dipping to 6.5 percent in the third quarter, its slowest rate since 2009 and well below Beijing’s target of around 6.5 percent for 2018 as a whole.

September exports were revised upward to 3.9 percent, the biggest increase in three months. October exports rose much faster than expected at 12.3 percent, the fastest pace in six months and well above September’s 4.4 percent gain which was revised up from an initial 3.9 percent. That was the biggest increase since March and stronger than September’s 3.9 percent rise, which was the weakest in three months.

Exports to the United States, China’s biggest market, rose by 13.5 percent in October from a year earlier while shipments to the European Union, its second largest market, increased 9.1 percent. Meanwhile, exports to Asia fell 9.0 percent while those to the Americas were down 7.3 percent.

China’s economy has shown signs of slowing this year, with GDP growth dipping to 6.5 percent in the third quarter, its slowest rate since 2009 and well below Beijing’s target of around 6.5 percent for 2018 as a whole.