China’s export growth and trade surplus exceeded expectations in May, though other indicators such as industrial output and retail sales trailed forecasts, Bloomberg reported. The trade surplus rose to US$18.7 billion in May, after exports rose 15.3% year-on-year and imports rose 12.7%, outpacing forecasts of economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Fixed-asset investment excluding rural households rose 20% in the first five months, the weakest gain for the period since 2001. Industrial output rose 9.6% year-on-year in May, while retail sales grew 13.8%, the least in almost six years excluding seasonal distortions. However, economists were encouraged by the better-than-expected trade data. “This shows it’s not all doom and gloom,” said Song Sen Wun, an economist with Singapore’s CIMB Research. “Growth momentum may be slowing, but it’s not about to crash.”
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