Chinese exports rose unexpectedly in July, beating expectations for a fall, as trade tensions with the US continued to simmer. Official figures showed exports rose 3.3% last month, compared to forecasts for a 2% drop. Imports fell 5.6% in July, less than the expected 8.3% decline.
Chinese exports have seen a further decline in July, adding to concerns over the global economic outlook. Exports fell by 4.4% compared to a year earlier, which was a slight improvement over June's 4.8% drop but still worse than analysts had been expecting. And imports were also weaker than estimated, down by 12.5%.
China saw imports drop for the twelfth month in a row in October giving further cause for concern over the Chinese economy. Imports by the world's biggest trader of goods fell 18.8% from a year earlier to $130.8bn, a slight improvement on September's 20.4% decline.
China's September imports fell a more-than-expected 17.7% in Yuan-denominated terms, while exports fell 1.1% from a year earlier, official figures show. The numbers leave the country with a trade surplus of 376.2bn Yuan ($59.4bn)
China's monthly trade data shows exports fell in March from a year ago by 14.6% in Yuan terms, compared to expectations for a rise of more than 8%. Imports meanwhile fell 12.3% in Yuan terms compared to forecasts for a fall of more than 11%.
China's latest export numbers rose by 9.4% in August from a year earlier, beating forecasts of about 8% growth. The official data showed imports dropped by 2.4% from the year before, though, which left the country with a record surplus of 49.8bn dollars.
China has warned of a grim outlook for trade as the world's second-largest economy surprised financial markets by reporting a fall in exports and imports when both had been expected to rise. The June data showed that exports fell 3.1% from a year earlier and imports dropped 0.7%, according to customs officials.
China surpassed the US to become the world's biggest trading nation last year as measured by the sum of exports and imports of goods, a milestone in the Asian nation's challenge to the US dominance in global commerce.
China's policymakers have been given more room to boost stimulus measures after the country's inflation rate dipped in September. Consumer prices rose 1.9% from a year earlier which is down from a rate of 2% in August.
European Union, the United States and Japan on Wednesday requested a dispute settlement panel at the World Trade Organization (WTO) after failing to resolve a battle over China's export restrictions on rare earth minerals.