China's imports from North Korea fall as trade with world surges

Pauline Gross
October 15, 2017

China's goods trade has had a "sound and steady" performance in the first three quarters of this year, mainly due to rising global demand and a strong Chinese economy.

Exports increased 8.1% in September, the customs administration said Friday, less than the 10% projected in a Bloomberg survey.

China's total trade with North Korea between January and September rose 3.7 percent to $4.03 billion, with the growth rate declining from 7.5 percent over the first eight months of the year.

That left the country with a trade surplus of $28.47 billion, less than the near $40 billion expected and down from around $42 billion in August. Economists had forecast 11.5% rise in shipments and 16.5% increase in imports.

"Nonetheless, today's figures suggest that not only has strong foreign demand continued to prop up manufacturing activity in China but domestic demand remains resilient, too", Evans-Pritchard said.

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In contrast, imports may eventually face a sharper slowdown as support from loose fiscal policy reverses after the Party Congress, with local governments forced to pair back spending in the final months of the year in order to meet budget targets, the economist added.

It was a better performance than August when exports rose 5.5 percent and imports were up 13.3 percent. This accounted for 38.5 percent of the national total, 0.4 percentage point higher than the proportion for the same period of previous year.

China's economy has surprised analysts with its resilience so far in 2017, expanding by 6.9 percent in the first half, though most market watchers have stuck to predictions that it would slowly begin to lose growth momentum later in the year.

But Evans-Pritchard said the figures were skewed because there were more working days last month compared with last year's period, as the almost week-long Mid-Autumn Festival holiday was held in September 2016. "The improvement in September comes even as cooling prices pressures should have weighed on trade values".

The trade data was the latest positive economic news for China after the International Monetary Fund released a report this week raising the country's growth forecasts for 2017 and 2018 to 6.8 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively.

Other reports by GizPress

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