China trade growth less than expected
BEIJING: China’s exports and imports grew much less than expected last month, raising concerns over whether global demand is starting to cool even as major Western central banks consider scaling back years of massive stimulus support.
China and Europe have been driving an increasing share of global growth this year as political conflict stymies stimulus policies being pushed by United States President Donald Trump.
But while China’s overall trade continued to grow at a healthy clip last month, at 8.8 per cent it was the slowest rate this year.
Some analysts chalked up the softer readings to seasonal or one-off factors, but others said weaker import growth could be the first tangible sign of a longexpected slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy after a surprisingly strong first half.
“External demand is not really worrying in terms of the outlook,” said Raymond Yeung, chief economist for Greater China at ANZ in Hong Kong.
China’s export growth slowed to 7.2 per cent last month from a year earlier, the weakest pace since February and cooling from a 11.3 per cent rise in June, data showed yesterday. Analysts had expected a 10.9 per cent gain.
China’s imports rose 11.0 per cent, the slowest growth since December and down from a 17.2 per cent rise in the previous month. That also missed expectations of 16.6 per cent growth.
That left the country with a trade surplus of US$46.74 billion (RM200 billion) for the month, the highest since January, compared with forecasts for US$46.08 billion and June’s US$42.77 billion.
China’s export growth slowed to 7.2 per cent last month from a year earlier, the weakest pace since February and cooling from a 11.3 per cent rise in