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China exports jumped in November as import gains signal strength

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China's overseas shipments unexpectedly jumped as global demand remained firm, while import growth remained steady.

[BEIJING] China's overseas shipments unexpectedly jumped as global demand remained firm, while import growth remained steady.

Exports rose 10.3 per cent in November in yuan terms, the customs administration said Friday. Imports increased 15.6 per cent, to leave a trade surplus of 263.6 billion yuan (S$54 billion).

Demand for Chinese products has proven robust as growth in major trade partners remains intact, and imports are stabilising as the economy has outperformed this year. The official factory gauge unexpectedly rose to near a five-year high in November, despite campaigns to clean up the environment and the financial system.

Policy makers recently announced tariff cuts to help boost imports as the economy evolves to a more consumption-driven basis.

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Still, the world's largest exporter faces uncertainty.

Trade frictions between the two biggest economies still appear to be on the horizon after the Trump administration recently argued that China is backtracking on the market principles that form the norm in globalised trade.

Import growth has outpaced exports for more than a year and this will persist as domestic demand for commodities continues unabated, Moody's Analytics economists wrote in a recent note.

Exports are growing amid a global tech boom ahead of the holiday season, they said.

BLOOMBERG

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