China’s exports and imports rose faster than expected in September, providing a modicum of good news as the world’s second-largest economy searches for sources of growth to meet its 7.5% annual target. Exports have been a rare source of economic strength in recent months fueled by growing global demand, even as weak real estate sales, industrial production and fixed asset investment in China drag down growth.
China’s customs agency said Monday it expects stronger exports and imports to continue in the fourth quarter. “These are very heartening numbers,” said ING economist Tim Condon. “It looks like exports have ratcheted up.”
The stronger-than-expected import figure also should allay fears that the domestic economy is decelerating too quickly, Mr. Condon added. “China’s big enough to help sentiment for the global economy. This is good news,” he said. But economists said trade figures have been volatile and it is too early to suggest that domestic demand in China is turning around.