BEIJING: China's export rose 15.3% in May from a year earlier, exceeding all 29 analyst estimates in a Bloomberg News survey.
Imports gained 12.7% from a year earlier, the Beijing-based customs bureau said today. That compared with the median estimate of 5.5% in a Bloomberg survey and a 0.3% increase in April. The trade surplus of US$18.7 billion also beat forecasts.
China cut interest rates three days ago as the government counters the effects of Europe’s debt crisis and seeks to engineer a resurgence in an economy that JPMorgan Chase & Co. predicts will grow at the slowest pace since 1999.
Inflation in May eased more than estimated and industrial output and retail sales growth trailed forecasts, reports showed yesterday, evidence of moderating demand that adds pressure on Premier Wen Jiabao to roll out more stimulus measures.
“The biggest downside risk to China’s growth this year is external demand," Wang Tao, an economist at UBS AG in Hong Kong, said before today’s release.
The yuan has declined about 1.2% against the U.S. dollar this year, aiding exporters as austerity measures in Europe, a financial crisis in Spain, and the threat of a Greek exit from the euro region sap confidence and weaken demand. The currency closed at 6.3705 per dollar on June 8.
The trade surplus compared with an excess of $18.43 billion the previous month and $13.05 billion in May 2011. (Bloomberg/tw)