China’s exports stay strong, trade surplus tops $80 billion

China’s exports stay strong, trade surplus tops $80 billion. Beijing, China (AFP) – China’s exports and imports grew in November as a global economic recovery helped its trade balance beat market expectations to hit the highest level this year.

Exports jumped 13.6 percent year-on-year, the General Administration of Customs said Sunday, beating forecasts for a 10 percent increase in a Bloomberg News survey and following October’s 11.7 percent gain. Imports surged 18.8 percent last month, compared with analysts’ projections of 14 percent growth and slowing from a 20 percent increase in October.

The jump in imports, despite these being more expensive due to a yuan devaluation earlier this year, shows that domestic demand remains solid on the back of a recovering global economy and financial markets as well as Beijing’s stimulus measures. The trade surplus rose to $80.31 billion last month from $72.58 billion the previous month, the General Administration of Customs said.

That compared with $63.86 billion in October, or $48.78 billion according to Bloomberg calculations based on previous official figures. China’s surplus with the United States surged 12 percent year-on-year to $25.55 billion last month, while its surplus with the European Union fell 54 percent year-on-year to $4.04 billion, according to official data.

China’s trade growth is much better than expected, wrote Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics in a note, saying that this was mostly due to stronger-than-expected imports and a smaller rise in the surplus as exports rose less rapidly than imports.

China’s trade has showed resilience despite a slowdown in the world’s second largest economy, which is expected to grow at its weakest rate since 1990 this year. Exports have been supported by firmer global demand as major economies including the United States and Europe show signs of recovery.

The pick-up in imports reflects improving domestic demand as Beijing continues to rolled out stimulus measures, and will add to concerns over China’s ballooning trade surplus which has sparked criticism from the United States. That prompts some investors to worry about frothy domestic demand in China as its economy heads for what is expected to be its slowest growth in a quarter of a century this year.

Compared with a year earlier, exports rose 1.4 percent in November, down from the previous month’s 2.3 percent growth, according to Bloomberg calculations based on official data. Imports grew by 18.8 percent year-on-year last month, accelerating from October’s 13.9 percent pace of expansion, the customs data showed Sunday.

China’s trade surplus with the US rose to $25.55 billion in November, official data showed on Sunday — the highest monthly figure since February 2013. The surplus with the European Union fell to 364 million euros ($413 million) last month, customs said, down from 2.5 billion euros ($2.9 billion) a year earlier and 1.9 billion euros in October.

China’s trade growth is much better than expected, wrote Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics in a note, saying that this was mostly due to stronger-than-expected imports and a smaller rise in the surplus as exports rose less rapidly than imports.