June 5, 2018 / 8:01 AM / 10 months ago

PREVIEW-China's May export, import growth seen slowing slightly

* 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 +10 pct (Apr 12.7 pct)

* Imports f’cast +19 pct (Apr +21.5 pct)

* PPI f’cast +3.8 pct y/y (Apr +3.4 pct)

* CPI f’cast +1.8 pct (Apr +1.8 pct)

* Industrial output f’cast +6.9 pct (Apr +7 pct)

* Fixed asset investment f’cast +7 pct (Apr +7 pct)

* Retail sales f’cast +9.5 pct (Apr +9.4 pct)

* New loans f’cast 1.2 trln yuan (Apr 1.18 trln yuan)

BEIJING, June 5 (Reuters) - China’s exports and imports are expected to have grown at a firm pace in May but slightly slower than the previous month, according to a Reuters poll of economists, as the country deals with tense trade negotiations with Washington.

A flurry of data in coming weeks is expected to show the pace of expansion of economic activity was steady in May, with exports maintaining double-digit growth and factory prices showing some new upward momentum.

The world’s second-largest economy has performed better-than-expected this year on the back of robust consumer spending and a solid manufacturing sector even as home sales slow and the government battles against financial risks and pollution.

China, the world’s largest exporter, has also so far escaped any major blow to its foreign trade sector despite rising trade tensions with the United States, which last week warned it would continue to pursue tariffs on Chinese imports.

A U.S. trade delegation led by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross left Beijing on Sunday with no announcements on any specific new agreements.

China’s exports likely rose 10 percent in May from a year earlier, according to the latest Reuters poll of 27 economists, compared to a revised 12.7 percent gain in April.

Import growth probably slowed slightly to 19 percent in May, a moderate slowdown from April but still strong, as the trade balance is also expected to rise to $31.45 billion in May.

China says it wants to increase imports and last week said it would cut tariffs on nearly 1,500 consumer products as it looks to spur domestic spending.

Producer price inflation likely picked up for the second month in a row at 3.9 percent, according to economists, good news for China’s heavily indebted industrial firms, while consumer inflation is expected to have been unchanged at 1.8 percent.

Industrial output growth likely slowed to 6.9 percent in May, after surprisingly strong growth in April, the survey showed.

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

On the credit front, banks’ new yuan loans likely totalled 1.2 trillion yuan ($187.22 billion) in May, up only slightly from April, while money supply growth is also expected to have ticked up to 8.5 percent year-on-year.

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.

China’s foreign exchange reserves likely fell slightly to $3.102 trillion in May.

Foreign exchange data will be published on Thursday, followed by trade on Friday and inflation on Saturday.

Industrial output, retail sales and investment data will be published on June 14, while bank lending and money supply data is expected to be released sometime from June 10-15. ($1 = 6.4095 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Elias Glenn; Polling by Shaloo Shrivastava in Bengaluru and Wang Jing in Shanghai; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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