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China trade surplus soars to $31.5B

  |   Aug. 11, 2011 at 7:37 AM
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BEIJING, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- China's July trade surplus of $31.5 billion eased fears the problems in the U.S. economy and European debt crisis might hit Chinese exports, experts said.

The July surplus was the highest in 30 months and resulted from higher-than-expected export growth, especially to the European Union, the government said.

Officials and experts said they believe export growth will remain robust in the third quarter, driven by rising orders from overseas ahead of the Christmas shopping season, China Daily reported.

However, they also said it was too early to predict whether the U.S. and European woes would adversely impact Chinese exports in the longer term.

Figures released by the General Administration of Customs said China's July exports surged 20.4 percent year-on-year to a record $175.13 billion while July imports rose 22.9 percent to $143.64 billion.

"Export growth is better than expected, thanks to Japan's output capacity resuming and EU demand growing rapidly," said Lu Zhengwei, chief economist at Industrial Bank.

"China's export performance always lags behind a slowdown and weakening demand overseas. So debt problems overseas will not have a negative impact on Chinese exports right now," said Zhang Yansheng, director of the Research Institute of Foreign Economic Relations at the National Development and Reform Commission.

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