BEIJING: China’s import and export growth accelerated in September, suggesting the world’s second-biggest economy is still expanding at a healthy pace despite widespread forecasts of an eventual slowdown.
The data also suggested further improvement in the global economy, with business activity and demand having picked up markedly this year in Europe and the United States.
Imports grew 18.7 percent in September from a year earlier and accelerating from 13.3 percent in August, Customs data showed. Exports rose 8.1 percent, below forecasts of 8.8 percent but the most in three months and handily beating August’s 5.5 percent.
Once again, China’s imports were led by industrial resources as a year-long construction boom shows no signs of flagging and factories kept humming, boosting demand for materials from steel to copper.
Higher commodity prices greatly magnified the strength of the bounce, but volumes surged, too, pointing to still-solid underlying demand.
That left the Country with a trade surplus of $28.47 billion, less than the near $40 billion expected and down from around $42 billion in August.
China’s foreign trade will likely grow at a double-digit pace this year if current conditions continue, the General Administration of Customs said.
In addition to pointing to buoyant demand, some of the surge in September imports may have been due to companies “front loading” supplies ahead of a week-long national holiday in early October, analysts said.