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Chinese Exports Hit Record Highs in July on Strong Volume to Western Markets

Chinese exports closed out record highs in July, up 20.4% from the previous year, led by strong volume to US/European markets, allaying concerns that growth of the world’s No. 2 economy would be hampered by sovereign debt concerns.
Showing the largest jump in Chinese exports seen since April, a report released today, Aug. 10, shows that export growth beat out the median forecasting from economists by a healthy 3%, with imports rising 22.9%.
Coming in short order after the Federal Reserve announcement to keep interest rates low through 2013, this data shows illustrates the rationale for China’s signaling that it will likely pause its 10-month policy tightening campaign for the time being, in order to better react to prevailing US conditions. Because, as the data suggests, while China’s exports were not impacted as economists had feared, continual focus will fall on China and a comprehensive approach to inflation is required.
Economist at Shanghai-based Guotai Junan Securities, Li Xunlei, advised that despite robust exports, global market volatility and waning, consumer spending could force a slowdown in future growth, as debt concerns continue to plague Western markets.
Strong growth in exports to Japan and the US, alongside the almost doubled growth of annual exports into Europe, helped to bring the total value of exports to $175.1B for July, a new record.
This has led to a $31.5B trade surplus, with inflation reaching three-year highs of 6.5%, prompting people like Minsheng Securities Analyst, Zhang Lei, to describe China’s monetary policy as being kidnapped by foreign capital inflows, citing yuan appreciation as a potential option.
With analysts predicting growth easing to somewhere around 8-9%, the latest data reinforces the view that China has strong domestic growth to sustain its thriving production engine, as retail sales jumped in July, up 17.2% from the previous year. Similarly, car sales rose 6.7% in the same interval, further showing that while the US economy has sputtered, China’s economy is showing good growth momentum, as Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao said Tuesday.
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