October 14, 2019 / 3:03 AM / 2 months ago

China Sept exports fall 3.2%, imports down 8.5%, below forecasts

BEIJING, Oct 14 (Reuters) - China’s exports in September fell 3.2% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Monday, hurt by the intensifying Sino-U.S. trade war and weakening global demand.

Analysts polled by Reuters had expected exports would decline 3%, after a 1% drop in August.

Imports in September fell 8.5% from a year earlier, more than a predicted drop of 5.2% and compared with a 5.6% contraction in August.

That left China with a trade surplus of $39.65 billion in September, compared with a $34.84 billion surplus in August. Analysts had forecast $33.3 billion.

Last month saw a renewed escalation in a year-long trade row, with Washington imposing 15% tariffs on more than $125 billion in Chinese imports from Sept. 1, and Beijing hitting back with retaliatory levies.

Following talks last week, U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday outlined the first phase of a deal to end the trade war and suspended a threatened tariff hike set for Oct. 15, but officials on both sides said much more work needed to be done before an accord could be agreed.

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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