China exports rise 7 percent in May; imports slow

Nathan Andrada – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Beijing, China (4E) – China reported strong growth in exports in May, citing improving global demand for its goods, but weaker imports in the same month raised concerns about struggling demand at home.

Exports rose 7 percent year over year in May, according to government data published Sunday, matching analysts’ expectations of a 7.2 percent gain and higher than the 0.9 percent gain in April and the 2.3 percent decline year on year in the first four months of 2013.

The gain in exports may have reflected the end of distortions in year-earlier data. To take advantage of a then-rising yuan, many exporters last year used over-invoicing of their exports to avoid foreign exchange controls.

The 1.6 percent decline in imports in May is far below the 6 percent increase forecast by analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal.

The higher exports and lower-than-expected imports resulted to a significantly wider trade surplus of $35.9bn in May, higher compared with a $18.45bn surplus in April, and surpassing economists’ estimate of a $23.4bn surplus.

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