China’s exports fall, imports contract for fifth month, Latest Business News - The New Paper

China’s exports fall, imports contract for fifth month

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BEIJING : A slide in China's exports picked up pace last month while imports contracted for a fifth straight month.

It pointed to further weakness in the economy, underlining the need for more stimulus as the Sino-US trade war drags on.

Analysts say it could take time for Chinese exports to recover amid slowing global growth despite tentative signs of a thaw in tense trade relations between the world's top two economies.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump outlined the first phase of a deal to end the trade war with China and suspended a threatened tariff hike set for Oct 15.

Last month's exports fell 3.2 per cent from a year earlier, the biggest fall since February, customs data showed yesterday. Analysts had expected a 3 per cent decline in a Reuters poll after August's 1 per cent drop.

"The headline figures suggest that global demand softened last month, adding to the pressure from the US tariffs that went into effect in September," said analysts at Capital Economics.

Some Chinese firms had rushed to ship goods to the United States ahead of the September deadline, supporting overall July and August export readings.

"We expect shrinking exports will likely be one of the biggest drags on China's economic growth in the coming months, as the tariff impact will be further in place, along with the pay-back effects," said chief China economist at Nomura Ting Lu.

Total September imports fell 8.5 per cent after August's 5.6 per cent decline, the lowest since May. They were expected to fall 5.2 per cent.- REUTERS