China August imports soar for the first time in two years

In August, Chinese imports unexpectedly surged for the first time in almost two years. Meanwhile, exports sagged at a more moderate pace, thus suggesting demand at home and also abroad might finally be ascending, putting the world's number two economy on a more balanced footing.

Exports edged down 2.8% from a year earlier, as the General Administration of Customs reported on Thursday. Pressure on shipments was supposed to ease further in the fourth quarter.

Imports ascended 1.5% from a year earlier, concluding a 21-month stretch of drops, suggesting domestic demand’s picking up along with sturdy commodities prices.

In August, it resulted in a narrower trade surplus of about $52.05 billion, versus a $58 billion forecast as well as July's $52.31 billion.

If it happens to prove sustainable, a trade recovery would help to ease worries that the Chinese economy is getting extremely lopsided.

China's policymakers have already become more reliant on higher government spending on infrastructure, while a housing boom to spur  economic growth as private investment fails and exports are still sluggish.

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