Beijing, China | AFP |
China’s imports rose 1.5 percent year-on-year in August, figures showed Thursday, the first increase in nearly two years, in a positive sign for the world’s second-largest economy.
Exports dropped 2.8 percent on-year to $190.6 billion, a smaller fall than the median forecast in a survey of economists by Bloomberg News.
The data from Customs were the latest indicator of improving health for the world’s biggest trader in goods, with the rise in imports — to $138.5 billion — the first since October 2014.
China is crucial to the global economy and its performance affects partners from Australia to Zambia, which have been battered by its slowing growth.
Its economy expanded 6.9 percent last year, its weakest rate in a quarter of a century.
Earlier this month an official measure of manufacturing activity also beat expectations, rebounding to its strongest level in nearly two years, with the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) coming in at 50.4 in August, a sign of expanding activity in Chinese factories and mines.
The trade figures recovered from a worse-than-expected performance in July, when imports plunged 12.5 percent on-year, weighed down by weaker commodity prices and lacklustre domestic demand.
The August trade surplus fell 13.6 percent from last year to $52.0 billion.