09/08/2014, 00.00
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China, a record for exports. But domestic market languishes

Official government figures released today show a 9.4% growth in exports for the month of August. But imports yield 2.4 percentage points, the stagnant housing market weighs on the stabilization of domestic consumption. The "iPhone" factor which will give an important stimulus to the Chinese economy for the rest of 2014.

Beijing (AsiaNews) - China's exports for the month of August have beaten forecasts and touched a record positive, with an increase of 9.4% in all areas. However, according to official figures released today by the government, imports are worrying with a decline of 2.4 percentage points. The aim of the national executive is to achieve annual growth of 7.5% without resorting to excessive stimulus packages, which in the past have flooded the second world economy with liquidity and risk of devaluation.

In the first eight months of the year, China's exports grew in total by 3.8%, while imports recorded a positive figure of 0.6 points. The trade surplus in August alone has produced 50 billion dollars, and brought the total to 201 billion.

This deficit - positive, but dangerous for domestic market stability - is likely to undermine Beijing's hopes to have exceeded the American economy by 2024. Domestic demand languishes due to the collapse of housing prices and construction materials: according to several analysts, the housing bubble that drove nearly all economic sectors in China in the early twenty-first century is about to burst.

Kevin Lai, economist at Daiwa Capital Markets in Hong Kong, told the South China Morning Post: "The data showed the recent slowdown in imports was not temporary and warned it could drag down exports later. Domestic growth is not doing well despite the mini-stimulus measures. It has something to do with the malaise in the real estate market".

Of course, the good results in Chinese exports are driven by American economic growth as it recovers from the financial crisis. According to the Hong Kong branch of Bank of America Corp, the new version of the iPhone that will be presented tomorrow will alone provide a percentage point of growth in Chinese exports to the rest of the 2014. Despite being "designed in California", in fact the technological jewel in Apple's crown is and remains "made in China".



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