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Asia Economy Last Updated: Sep 9, 2013 - 8:51 AM

China's exports rose in August; Inflation remained subdued
By Finfacts Team
Sep 9, 2013 - 7:25 AM

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Li Keqiang, Chinese premier, visits the exhibition hall of China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning, capital of south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Sept. 03, 2013. Photo: Xinhua

China's exports rose in August while inflation remained subdued, according to reports issued on Sunday and Monday in Beijing.

China's exports rose 7.2% year on year to US$190.61bn in August, according to customs figures released on Sunday. The growth rate was 2.1 percentage points higher than July.

Imports also rose last month, gaining 7% to $162.09bn, the General Administration of Customs said in a statement. Total foreign trade grew 7.1% in August over the same month in 2012 to $352.7bn.

The trade surplus widened by 8.4% year on year to 28.52bn last month, the highest since January this year.

Xinhua, the official news agency, reports that Zhang Liqun, a researcher at the Development Research Center of the State Council (China's cabinet), said the improvement in exports was related to a stable yuan and government policies.

Chinese authorities have exempted all outbound goods, transport vehicles and containers from inspection and quarantine fees from Aug. 1 to Dec. 31 this year. It has also cut taxes for small business to spur growth.

The new Chinese government has stressed the need for the Chinese economy to move to a more sustainable rate of growth, a position that has been reaffirmed today by Premier Li Keqiang:

“We can no longer afford to continue with the old model of high consumption and high investment. Instead, we must take a holistic approach in pursuing steady growth, structural readjustment and further reform,” Li wrote in the Financial Times on Monday.

In August, imports and exports with the European Union, China's largest trade partner, rose 3.2%, while trade with the United States, China's second-largest trade partner, rose 9.2%.

Trade with ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) members rose 13.3%. Trade with Japan shrank 6% during the period.

Meanwhile, China's consumer price index (CPI), a main measure of inflation, rose 2.6% year on year in August, down from 2.7% in July, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said Monday.

The country's consumer inflation has stayed between 2% and 3.2% this year, well below the government's full-year target of 3.5%.

Xinhua said that last month, food prices rose 4.7% year on year, while prices of non-food products were up 1.5%, the NBS said in a statement on its website.

Average consumer prices in the first eight months rose 2.5% from the same period of last year, according to the statement.

Factory gate prices dipped 1.6 % from a year earlier in August, compared with July’s 2.3% fall.

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