BEIJING, June 8 (Reuters) - China’s May exports rose 12.6 percent from a year earlier, while imports grew 26 percent, beating market expectations, providing good news for Beijing’s policymakers as they deal with tough trade negotiations with Washington.
China posted a trade surplus of $24.92 billion for the month, customs data showed on Friday. Analysts had forecast the trade surplus would increase to $31.9 billion in May from $28.38 billion in April.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected May shipments from the world’s largest exporter to have risen 10.0 percent on year, compared with a revised 12.7 percent gain in April.
Import growth had been expected to slow to 18.7 percent in May, compared with 21.5 percent one month earlier.
For January-May combined, exports rose 13.3 percent from the same period last year, and imports rose 21 percent.
China’s trade performance has got off to a strong start this year, supported by sustained demand at home and abroad.
But the export outlook is being clouded by the trade row with the United States, which could disrupt China’s shipments and its supply chains.
Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore