China: Exports remain robust but trade surplus shrinks on stronger imports
September 9, 2011
The trade surplus narrowed to a three-month low in August, as imports jumped to a record high. Exports rose 24.5% over the same month last year, overshooting both the previous month's 20.5% increase and market expectations of a 21.9% expansion. Imports advanced 30.2%, which came in well above the 23.8% increase in July and surprised the market on the upside, which had inbound shipments climbing 21.0%. As a result, the trade surplus narrowed from USD 31.5 billion in July to USD 17.8 billion in August. The strong import print was mainly due to rising purchases from the European Union and Asia, while imports from the United States remained feeble. Meanwhile, export growth remained resilient in August, as trade with partners in developing economies outpaced China's major trade partners.