BEIJING: China posted stronger-than-expected import growth in August, reinforcing views that the world's second-largest economy is still expanding at a healthy pace despite tighter policy.
China's imports grew 13.3 percent from a year earlier, official data showed, handily beating analysts' forecast of 10 percent, after rising 11.0 percent in July.
Imports of industrial commodities continued to lead the way as soaring steel prices boost Chinese mills' appetite for high-quality foreign iron ore.
Exports showed some signs of softening, however, with growth cooling to 5.5 percent from a year earlier, roughly in line with analysts' forecasts for a 6.0 percent increase but down from 7.2 percent in July.
Export growth was the slowest since shipments fell in February, but may not necessarily suggest broader global demand is faltering.
Also, China has tended to lag export trends seen elsewhere in North Asia this year. Neighbouring South Korea last week posted sharply higher shipments for August.
The surging yuan is complicating China's trade picture.
Some Chinese exporters have been complaining of losses due to a sharp turnaround in the yuan currency, which has now gained around
7 percent against the U.S. dollar so far this year, much of it in the past few months.