China's exports fall in August as US trade war rumbles

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Sep 08 2019 02:13 PM

BEIJING -- China's exports fell by 1 percent on-year in August, official data showed Sunday, amid a bruising trade war with the US that has roiled markets in the world's top two economies.

The drop comes after a surprise 3.3-percent rebound in July despite the yearlong battle with Washington and weakening global demand. 

But economists cited by Bloomberg had forecast a 2.2-percent rise ahead of the release of Sunday's figures by the customs administration. 

China's trade surplus also dropped sharply in August to $34.83 billion, from $44.58 billion the previous month, while imports continued a four-month decline at 5.6 percent on-year, matching the July figure. 

Washington imposed new tariffs on September 1 as it stepped up its high-pressure campaign to coerce Beijing into a new trade deal. 

The additional levies come on top of the 25-percent tariffs on $250 billion in imports already in place.

China said Thursday that new talks with the US would be held in Washington in early October. 

In a sign of continued pressure on the Chinese economy, Beijing's central bank announced Friday it would cut deposit reserve requirements for banks.

The measure would allow an estimated $126 billion in additional loans to businesses facing an economic slowdown. 

China's GDP growth was 6.2 percent on-year in the second quarter, the lowest rate in nearly three decades.