China’s customs data beat expectations of decline on Tuesday, showing that exports and imports grew significantly in June. The positive data comes as restrictions eased and countries started reopening their economies.

According to the statistics, China’s imports rose 2.7 percent in June from a year earlier in spite of market expectations for a 10 percent drop. They had nosedived 16.7 percent in May. 

Exports also rose unexpectedly, up 0.5 percent, compared to analyst estimations of a 1.5 percent drop following a 3.3 percent decline in May. 

“The significant improvement in China’s imports is an indication of the country’s accelerating economic recovery, which has been mainly driven by substantial increases in investments in sectors such as real estate and infrastructure,” China analyst at consultancy firm DuckerFrontier Boyang Xue told Reuters.

Analysts expect the country’s imports to continue improving as a ramp-up in fiscal stimulus boosts domestic demand.

Data showed China’s trade surplus with the United States widened to $29.41 billion in June, versus $27.89 billion in May.

China’s customs spokesman Liu Kuiwen said on Tuesday: “Faced with difficulties presented by the sudden epidemic, we’re still honoring our commitments and implementing the (trade) agreement.” 

READ MORE: China set to fall short on US energy purchases

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said last week he was not thinking about negotiating a ‘phase two’ trade deal with China as relations between Washington and Beijing have been “severely damaged” due to the Covid-19 pandemic and other issues.

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