China's exports climbed almost 10 percent year-over-year in September, but weak global demand continues to dampen forecasts.
China’s customs bureau said exports increased 9.9 percent and imports rose 2.4 percent last month compared to a year earlier. This contrasted to an export increase of 2.7 percent and an import contraction of 2.6 percent year-over-year in August.
Despite the improvement, it appears unlikely China will reach the government’s target of 10 percent trade growth in 2012 amid a bearish outlook for domestic consumer and property markets, Europe’s debt crisis and trade with Japan falling as the two countries remain at loggerheads over a disputed island chain.
In the first nine months overall trade increased 6.2 percent year-over-year to $2.84 trillion. Trade with Europe was 2.7 percent lower than a year earlier but U.S. trade increased 9.1 percent.
Alistair Thornton, China economist with IHS Global Insight, said September's growth recorded was unlikely to be repeated later this year unless demand from export markets, especially Europe, improves significantly.
Thornton predicted China’s export growth would return to growth of around 5 percent in the coming months with import growth likely to slide to close to zero. “Trade should improve slightly through 2013 in line with the global economic outlook, but will not provide a major spur to China’s economy,” he told The JOC.