China Oct exports fall 0.9% y/y, imports down 6.4% y/y

BEIJING, Nov 8 (Reuters) - China’s exports in October fell 0.9% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Friday, pointing to a worsening outlook for the country’s manufacturers as the Sino-U.S. trade war drags on.

Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted exports would fall for a third consecutive month by 3.9% from a year earlier, after a 3.2% contraction in September.

Imports in October dropped 6.4% from a year earlier for the sixth consecutive month, compared with an expected drop of 8.9% and September’s 8.5% decline.

That left China with a trade surplus of $42.81 billion in October, versus September’s $39.65 billion surplus. Analysts had forecast a $40.83 billion surplus.

Beijing and Washington have been locked in a trade feud for 16 months, but hopes have risen that an initial deal may be signed soon, rolling back some of the tariffs that have hurt China’s manufacturers.

A meeting between U.S. and Chinese leaders to sign a first-phase trade deal could be delayed until December, after talks originally scheduled to take place in mid-November on the sidelines of a Chile summit were cancelled.

U.S. officials said they are still considering the fate of tariffs scheduled to kick in on Dec. 15 on about $156 billion worth of Chinese goods, which cover some key consumer technology products such as cell phones and laptop computers. (Reporting by Lusha Zhang and Ryan Woo; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)