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China's Export Growth Tops Expectations

China Trade 120817

China's exports expanded much faster than expected in November but the annual increase in imports outpaced export growth, data from the General Administration of Customs showed Friday.

In dollar terms, exports advanced 12.3 percent year-over-year in November, well above the 5.9 percent rise economists had forecast.

Similarly, imports surged 17.7 percent in November from a year ago, faster than the expected growth of 13.0 percent.

As a result, the trade surplus totaled $40.2 billion in November. The surplus was forecast to fall to $35.0 billion from about $38.2 billion in October.

In local currency terms, exports climbed 10.3 percent and imports advanced 15.6 percent in November. Economists had forecast exports to grow 2 percent and imports to rise 12.5 percent.

Consequently, the trade balance showed a surplus of CNY 263.6 billion in November.

Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said he expects exports to continue to perform well in the coming months on the back of strong global demand.

However, the economist said he is sceptical that the strength of imports can be sustained given that the delayed impact of policy tightening and a cooling property market are set to weigh on Chinese demand for commodities in coming quarters.

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