China: Merchandise exports gain steam in July
Merchandise exports jumped 18.0% over the same month last year in July, on the heels of June’s 17.9% jump and beating market expectations. July’s figure marked the strongest growth since January 2022, although the reading was flattered by higher export prices. Meanwhile, merchandise imports expanded 2.3% on an annual basis in July (June: +1.0% yoy), indicative of weak domestic demand.
As a result, the merchandise trade balance improved from the previous month to a record USD 101.3 billion surplus in July (June 2022: USD 97.9 billion surplus; July 2021: USD 55.8 billion surplus). Lastly, the trend pointed up, with the 12-month trailing merchandise trade balance recording a USD 864.2 billion surplus in July, compared to the USD 818.7 billion surplus in June.
Despite the strong July reading, exports are expected to slip into contraction later this year as global growth dims amid rising interest rates.