China July trade data signals growth bottoming out

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324522504579000152241442452.html BEIJING—China's economy is showing signs of stabilizing after a six-month slowdown, adding to better global economic prospects as the U.S. steadily improves and Europe edges out of recession.

July trade data released on Thursday showed stronger-than-expected global demand for China's exports, good news for the key manufacturing sector. As important, a greater-than-expected increase in imports suggested strengthening demand in China's domestic economy.

The data followed a survey of manufacturing companies released last week that showed modest expansion in Chinese factory activity in July.

Taken together, the latest numbers indicate that China's growth may have bottomed out in the second quarter, raising expectations of steady growth in the remaining months of the year. That could help China's economy hit Beijing's 7.5% growth target for the year, following economists' concerns that it could post an embarrassing miss.

"Finally, some good news from China," said Qu Hongbin, an economist at HSBC Holdings PLC. Economists from Bank of America-Merrill Lynch said in a note: "July trade data are supportive of a better economic outlook for China."
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