(Yicai Global) August 9 -- China delivered strong foreign trade results last month despite the escalating trade spat between the world's two largest economies.
Chinese exports rose by 12.2 percent on the year to USD215.6 billion, growing one percentage point faster than in the previous month, while imports rose by more than one-quarter to USD187.5 billion, customs data shows. The trade surplus came in at USD28 billion, some USD13.4 billion lower than the record set in June.
Results for July are China's first release of foreign trade data since the first round of US tariffs on some USD34 billion worth of Chinese goods came in on July 6. These were countered the next day when China issued its own tariffs on American goods.
Most economists previously expected monthly growth in exports and imports to be 10.5 percent and 17.2 percent respectively, according to the Yicai Global Chief Economist Survey from July.
For the first seven months of this year, China's exports totaled USD1.39 trillion, up 12.6 percent annually, while imports amounted to USD1.22 trillion, up 21 percent.
Specifically, exports to the US grew by 13.3 percent to USD259 billion, implying a slowdown of 0.3 percentage point in growth compared to the month before. Imports stood at USD97.5 billion after rising 11.8 percent on the year.
Following the first round of tariffs, the US Trade Representative Office announced on August 7 the implementation of additional taxes on some USD16 billion of Chinese imports, effective August 23. The Chinese government has to take necessary countermeasures to defend its legitimate interests and the multilateral trade system, a spokesperson from China's commerce ministry said yesterday, adding that reprisal tariffs will be enforced to coincide with the US plans.
Editor: Xu Wei