May 4, 2018 / 10:15 AM / 22 days ago

PREVIEW-China April data to show steady economic expansion, export bounceback

* reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/Economic-Monitor?g=53 Economic Monitor for China with Reuters poll data

* reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/econ-polls?RIC=CNEXP%3DECI Reuters poll data on exports

* reuters://realtime/verb=Open/url=cpurl://apps.cp./Apps/econ-polls?RIC=CNCPI%3DECI poll data on inflation

* Exports f’cast +6.3 pct (Mar -2.7 pct)

* Imports f’cast +16 pct (Mar +14.4 pct)

* PPI f’cast +3.5 pct y/y (Mar +3.1 pct)

* CPI f’cast +1.9 pct (Mar +2.1 pct)

* Industrial output f’cast +6.3 pct (Mar +6 pct)

* Fixed asset investment f’cast +7.4 pct (Mar +7.5 pct)

* Retail sales f’cast +10 pct (Mar +10.1 pct)

* New loans f’cast 1.1 trln yuan (Mar 1.12 trln yuan)

BEIJING, May 4 (Reuters) - A flurry of Chinese data in coming weeks is expected to show the world’s second-largest economy remained strong in April, underpinned by a pick-up in industrial output and a rebound in exports despite rising trade tensions with the United States.

Solid growth in key areas of the economy would help reassure financial markets after generally softer than expected data in March suggested the economy may be losing momentum.

China’s economy grew at a slightly faster-than-expected pace of 6.8 percent in the first quarter, but economists still expect growth to slow significantly by year-end.

Domestic growth risks posed by higher borrowing costs and a cooling property market are now being compounded by the country’s deteriorating trade and economic relationship with the United States.

The two sides reached a consensus on some areas of their trade dispute in talks in Beijing late this week, but are still relatively far apart on other issues, Chinese state media reported.

U.S. President Donald Trump has threatened $150 billion in new tariffs on Chinese imports, though none of the tariffs have been implemented yet.

China’s exports likely rose 6.3 percent in April from a year earlier, according to a Reuters poll of 33 economists, bouncing back from a surprise 2.7 percent decline in March.

Import growth probably picked up slightly to 16 percent in April, producing a trade surplus of $24.7 billion after a rare deficit the previous month.

Industrial output likely also kicked up a notch to 6.3 percent, after expanding at the slowest pace in seven months in March, the survey showed.

Growth rates for fixed asset investment and retail sales were likely little changed in April from March, economists said.

On the credit front, banks’ new yuan loans likely totalled 1.1 trillion yuan ($172.96 billion) in April, down only slightly from March.

Traditional bank lending has remained robust this year as the government continues a crackdown on riskier financing practices such as off-balance sheet and “shadow” lending.

Consumer inflation is expected to have eased for the second month in a row to 2.1 percent, while producer price inflation likely picked up after five months of declines. Prices of resources such as iron ore have surged in recent weeks as falling stockpiles point to strong demand for building materials.

China’s foreign exchange reserves likely fell slightly to $3.133 trillion in April.

Foreign exchange data will be published on Monday, followed by trade on Tuesday and inflation on Thursday.

Industrial output, retail sales and investment data will be published on May 15, while bank lending and money supply data is expected to be released sometime from May 10-15. ($1 = 6.3598 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Elias Glenn; Polling by Shaloo Shrivastava in Bengaluru and Wang Jing in Shanghai; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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