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Chinese exports surge despite gloomy forecasts as trade spat with US remains unsolved

Chinese exports surge despite gloomy forecasts as trade spat with US remains unsolved
Sales of Chinese goods abroad saw a dramatic upsurge in January, according to the latest statistics from China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC). Imports also dropped far less than analysts predicted.

The data shows that January’s exports in dollar terms soared by 9.1 percent compared to the same period a year earlier. The growth marks a significant improvement against December data that had revealed a year-on-year drop of 4.4 percent.

Decline in imports by China reportedly slowed to 1.5 percent from 7.6 percent in the previous month.

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The country’s trade surplus in January totaled $39.16 billion, beating economists’ expectations. The analysts surveyed by Reuters projected China’s trade surplus to have narrowed to $33.5 billion from $57.06 billion in December. The figure fixed in January is still double the $18.42 billion in January 2018.

The trade surplus with the US declined to $27.3 billion from $29.87 billion in December, marking the second consecutive month of declines. The fall is reportedly connected to the ongoing trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies. Chinese exports to the US dropped 2.4 percent year-on-year, while imports from the US fell by 41.2 percent.

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Earlier this week, US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer arrived in Beijing for another round of trade negotiations. The top officials are set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday, according to the South China Morning Post.

Washington and Beijing are trying to clinch a deal ahead of a March 1 deadline when the White House is planning to increase tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent. Earlier, Bloomberg reported citing unnamed sources that US President Donald Trump was considering extending the deadline by 60 days.

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