China’s trade surplus with US widens to record $34b

Published: October 12, 2018 18:07:57 | Updated: October 14, 2018 11:52:30

Despite a worsening tariff war, China's trade surplus with the United States has widened to a record $34.1bn in September.

Chinese exports to the American market rose by 13 per cent over a year to $46.7bn, down from August's 13.4 per cent growth, customs data showed on Friday.

Imports of American goods increased 9.0 per cent to $12.6bn, down from 11.1 per cent.

Relations between the world's two largest economies soured sharply this year, with US President Donald Trump vowing on Thursday to inflict economic pain on China if it does not blink.

The two countries imposed new tariffs on a massive amount of each other's goods mid-September, with the US targeting $200bn in Chinese imports and Beijing firing back at $60bn worth of US goods.

Chinese exports to the US have at least temporarily defied forecasts they would weaken after being hit by punitive tariffs of up to 25 per cent in a fight over American complaints about Beijing's technology policy.

"Exports continued to defy US tariffs last month but imports struggled in the face of cooling domestic demand," said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics in a report.

"We expect both to soften in the coming quarters," he said.

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