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China’s trade surplus with the US up 15 per cent

Over the first eight months of the year, China's surplus with the US has risen nearly 15 per cent. This has added to tensions in trade relationship between the world's two largest economies. The US is China's largest export market.

Even with US tariffs targeting $50 billion of Chinese exports in effect for their first full month in August, China's exports to the United States still accelerated, growing 13.2 per cent from a year earlier from 11.2 per cent in July. The impact of US tariffs on China’s exports would likely be limited over the next few months.

The surplus with the United States was larger than China’s net surplus for the month, indicating China would be running a deficit if trade with the world’s largest economy was excluded. China’s imports from the United States grew only 2.7 per cent in August, a slowdown from 11.1 per cent in July.

The world’s largest trading nation got off to a strong start this year, but its economic outlook is being clouded by the rapidly escalating US trade dispute and cooling domestic demand. The US has threatened to slap tariffs on nearly all Chinese imports to the United States, threatening duties on another $267 billion of goods on top of $200 billion in imports primed for levies in coming days.