Xinhua News Agency

Demand fuels surge of 23pc

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 13 November, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 13 November, 1999, 12:00am

Mainland exports continued to rebound with double-digit growth last month, helped by strong demand in Asia and Beijing's efforts to increase tax rebates to exporters.

Exports for last month rose 23.8 per cent year on year to US$18.2 billion, the fourth consecutive monthly increase and also the highest so far, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday, citing customs figures.

Exports rose 20.2 per cent in September following jumps of 17.8 per cent in August and 7.5 per cent in July.

The figures provided further evidence that a full-blown recovery in exports had taken hold and was gathering strength, economists said.

The robust growth in exports and the trade surplus would also offer strong support for the yuan and provide some stimulus for the mainland's overall economy, which is plagued by falling investment and sluggish consumer demand.

Last month, imports rose 18.2 per cent year on year to $13.8 billion, with the growth rate sharply down from 32.5 per cent in September, Xinhua reported, without explaining the sharp drop.

This gave the mainland a monthly surplus of $4.4 billion for last month, sharply higher than the $3.3 billion in September.

In the first 10 months of the year, the trade surplus was $23.8 billion, 38 per cent down from $38.44 billion in the same period last year.

Exports rose 4.3 per cent to $155.2 billion and imports rose 19.2 per cent to $131.4 billion in the first 10 months of the year.

China News Service, another government agency, said exports to Asia, the mainland's largest market, rose 1.6 per cent to $81.2 billion in the first 10 months, the first positive growth this year.