February 8, 2018 |
China’s export growth accelerated in January amid mounting trade tension with Washington while imports surged as factories stocked up ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday.
Exports rose 11.1 percent compared with a year earlier to $200.5 billion, up from December’s 10.9 percent growth, trade data showed Thursday. Exports surged 36.9 percent to $180.1 billion, up from the previous month’s 4.5 percent.
China’s politically sensitive trade surplus with the United States widened by 2.3 percent from a year ago to $21.9 billion, while its global trade gap narrowed by 60 percent to $20.3 billion.
“Export growth remained robust in January, indicating steady global demand momentum,” said Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics in a report.
“While we expect the favorable external setting to continue to support China’s exports, rising U.S.-China trade friction remains a key risk,” said Kuijs. “We expect the U.S. administration to scale up on measures impeding imports from China.”
Beijing’s steady accumulation of multibillion-dollar trade surpluses with the United States has prompted demands for import controls.
President Donald Trump’s administration has increased duties on Chinese-made washing machines, solar modules and other goods it says are being sold at improperly low prices. It is due to announce results of a probe into whether Beijing improperly pressures foreign companies to hand over technology, which could lead to further penalties.
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