China trade enjoys forecast-beating surge in August
BEIJING, Sept 7, 2021 (BSS/AFP) - China's exports and imports enjoyed
forecast-beating growth in August, as data on Tuesday showed overseas demand
for cars, electronics and consumer goods surged while a domestic coronavirus
resurgence was brought to heel.
The news follows a recent spate of weak figures that had suggested the
recovery in the world's top economy was flattening owing to a spike in the
Delta Covid variant that has forced some countries to impose strict
containment measures and hit consumer sentiment.
It also came despite the shutdown of a major port caused by a virus
outbreak, which observers had expected to hit shipments.
Exports jumped 25.6 percent on-year, while imports rose 33.1 percent,
according to the Customs Administration. The readings were both sharply up
from July and far better than estimates in a Bloomberg survey of 17.3 percent
and 26.9 percent, respectively.
The eye-popping numbers were boosted by last year's low base of comparison
when the virus was rapidly spreading.
Outbound shipments were helped by "improving overseas demand for consumer
goods", said Moody's Analytics in a Monday note.
And ING's chief economist for Greater China Iris Pang added that a sharp
jump in car exports was an "amazing" feat, given a global semiconductor
shortage that has weighed on the auto industry.
"It shows that (China) has the production capacity for semiconductors and
also cars, and therefore can grow its exports," she told AFP.
Exports of electronic products rose over the first eight months, the
Customs Administration said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Customs said imports were boosted by a surge in the cost of
commodities such as iron ore, oil and coal, which offset a fall in the amount
of goods entering the country.
China's trade surplus came in at $58.3 billion, up 2.2 percent on-year and
higher than the $53.2 billion expected.