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Unexpected strength in China trade data

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Unexpected strength in China trade data

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China has reported a surprisingly firm rebound in its exports and imports in July.

That offers some hope that the world’s second-largest economy might be stabilising after more than two years of slowing growth.

The Customs Administration said exports rose 5.1 percent last month from a year ago.

In June they had fallen for the first time in 17 months.

Imports fared even better with a 10.9 percent jump from a year earlier.

A steadying of the economy would be a relief to China’s leaders.

They are worried a sharp slowdown could derail their attempts to reform the economy so it is driven more by consumption.

However economists warned not to read too much into the monthly data which have been very volatile lately.

China’s trade performance has whipsawed this year after data was first inflated by companies reporting fakes deals to disguise illicit cash transfers, and then subsequently deflated by the government as it quashed the fictitious transactions.

Analysts said the July data probably had minimal distortions, but some cautioned against concluding the upbeat performance was driven by an actual improvement in final demand.