China’s exports rose more than forecast in August while imports unexpectedly fell, pushing the trade surplus to a record high for the second consecutive month and underlining the challenges facing policymakers as they struggle to revive tepid domestic demand.
Exports rose 9.4 percent in August, the General Administration of Customs said on Monday, beating a forecast rise of 8 percent but slower than July’s 14.5 percent growth rate. But imports fell 2.4 percent in terms of value, missing a Reuters estimate for a 1.7 percent rise. That led to an all-time high trade surplus of $49.8 billion, exceeding forecasts for a surplus of $40 billion.
It was the second straight month that China’s import growth has been unexpectedly weak, raising concerns that sluggish domestic demand exacerbated by a cooling housing market is increasingly dragging on growth in the world’s second-biggest economy. “The deepening contraction in the import data indicated weak domestic demand,” said Li Huiyong, an economist at Shenyin Wanguo in Shanghai.
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