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China's Exports Fall Less Than Expected

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China's exports fell less than expected in October and imports declined for the sixth month in a row, official data showed Friday.

In dollar terms, exports decreased 0.9 percent year-on-year in October, data from the General Administration of Customs reported.

Economists had forecast shipments to fall at a faster pace of 3.9 percent after September's 3.2 percent decrease. Exports to the US declined around 11 percent.

At the same time, overall imports declined markedly by 6.4 percent but slower than the forecast of 7.8 percent fall. This was the sixth consecutive decrease reflecting subdued demand.

As a result, the trade balance showed a surplus of $42.81 billion, which was above the expected level of $40.1 billion.

The US and China are set to roll back some of the tariffs in phases. However, the meeting of leaders to sign the first-phase trade deal may be pushed back to December.

Even if the "Phase One" US-China trade deal crosses the finish line, it is unlikely to alleviate the main headwinds facing exporters and outbound shipments look set to remain weak in the coming months, Martin Rasmussen, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

However, the economist anticipates some recovery in import growth in the coming months thanks to a turn in the inventory cycle. However, cooling domestic demand means that a strong rebound is unlikely, Rasmussen added.

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