China Exports & Imports Register Slower Decline

China’s exports declined at a slower pace in August as the weaker yuan made shipments more competitive and imports decreased less than expected on improving commodity demand, official data revealed on Thursday.

Exports slid 8.8 percent on a yearly basis in August but slower than the 14.5 percent decline in July, the General Administration of Customs reported. Moreover, the pace of decline was slower than the economists’ forecast of 9.2 percent fall.

At the same time, the annual fall in imports slowed to 7.3 percent from 12.4 percent a month ago. Imports were forecast to drop more sharply by 9.0 percent.

Consequently, the trade balance showed a surplus of $68.4 billion, well below the expected level of $73.9 billion.

Data showed that shipments to the US decreased only 9.53 percent from a year ago after posting double-digit declines over the previous months.

Economists at Capital Economics said exports are set to decline over the coming months before bottoming out toward the end of the year. They forecast a more substantial pullback in foreign demand.

Despite the resilience in global goods consumption, economists noted that the near-term outlook remains challenging as the prop from the pandemic is still unwinding and the impact of monetary tightening has yet to be felt completely.

Meanwhile, imports are likely to increase further in the coming months as a recovery in construction activity and international travel boost commodity demand, economists added.

Beijing has rolled out a slew of measures to combat the economic downturn following the reopening related bounce back at the start of the year. The People’s Bank of China also eased its borrowing rules and lowered mortgage rates for the first-time home buyers.

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