China’s unexpectedly robust economy is still getting a boost from trade, with exports and imports growing last month, albeit at a more moderate pace, The Wall Street Journal reports. China’s exports increased 7.2% in July from a year earlier, down from an 11.3% gain in June while imports expanded 11.0% from a year earlier, slower than June’s 17.2% expansion, the General Administration of Customs said Tuesday. Though both rates were lower than analysts expected, exports have now risen for five months in a row on sustained overseas demand. Imports slowed in part due to softer commodity prices, but overall are holding up on the strength of a continuing domestic property boom, economists said. A rebound in exports this year has helped China to secure stronger-than-expected economic growth of 6.9% in the first half of the year. Net exports’ contribution to China’s gross domestic product was 3.9% in the first half of the year, according to official data.
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