HONG KONG — China’s trade surplus jumped by 43 percent to $31.7 billion in June, highlighting concerns about slowing domestic consumer spending.
Exports during the month rose 11.3 percent from a year ago to $180.2 billion, while imports increased 6.3 percent to $148.5 billion, according to data from China’s customs administration. Imports were below the 12.7 percent growth seen in May, and fell well short of expectations.
The administration said that the second half is fraught with many uncertainties, with exports threatened by the ongoing global financial crisis, low consumer confidence and other factors. In addition, the domestic Chinese economy is facing pressure from the economic downturn as well as slowing domestic demand, the administration said.
China’s economy has been shifting from an export-oriented one to one more focused on domestic consumption. That shift has been rocky, despite attempts by the government to increase spending through hikes in the minimum wage.