BEIJING – China’s trade surplus with the United States increased in the first half of 2018 to 852 billion yuan ($127.4 billion), according to official data released on Friday.
The twice yearly figures concerning Chinese foreign trade, published by the General Administration of Customs, come in the middle of the trade war launched by the US against the imbalance in its commerce with China.
Chinese exports to the US rose 5.7 percent year-on-year during the first six months of 2018, to stand at 1.39 trillion yuan.
Chinese imports of American products increased at a rate of 4 percent to stand at 538 billion yuan, Customs spokesperson Huang Songping said at a press conference.
“Chinese exports held up well on the eve of U.S. tariffs. But disappointing import figures point toward weakening domestic demand,” the economic research consultancy Capital Economics said.
Washington announced on Monday the application of tariffs to Chinese imports valued at $200 billion, in addition to the ones announced last week worth $34 billion, escalating the trade war between the two economic superpowers.
Huang said that the trade war will have a major effect on China-US trade besides having a negative impact on global trade.
Experts also predicted that Chinese exports to the US will fall in the coming months as the application of tariffs begins to have an impact.