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China's Exports, Imports Rise More Than Forecast


China's exports and imports increased more-than-expected in October as trade remained resilient, despite escalating trade disputes with the U.S.

Exports grew 15.6 percent annually, the General Administration of Customs reported Thursday. Economists had forecast an increase of 11.7 percent, after a 14.5 percent rise in September.

Shipments to the U.S. advanced 13.2 percent in October.

At the same time, total imports surged 21.4 percent, which was faster than the forecast of 14.7 percent and September's 14.3 percent rise.

As a result, the trade surplus came in at $34 billion versus the expected level of $35.1 billion.

In yuan terms, overall imports advanced 26.3 percent and exports climbed 20.1 percent from last year. The trade surplus totaled CNY 233.6 billion in October.

Despite the strong trade data, recent data signaled slowdown in China's economic activity. According to Purchasing Managers' survey, the private sector expanded at the weakest pace in more than two years in October.

The economy had expanded only 6.5 percent in the third quarter following the 6.7 percent growth seen in the second quarter.

Global economic growth is likely to cool further over the quarters ahead and, with US tariff rates also set to rise soon, growth in China's exports will probably weaken, Chang Liu, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

Meanwhile, Chinese officials have been loosening policy in recent months in order to shore up economic growth, the economist noted.

But given the usual lags involved, the economist said domestic economic activity is not likely to stabilize until the middle of next year.

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