NEW YORK, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) -- U.S. economists expect that the strong growth momentum of the U.S. economy in the second half of this year will provide a boost to China's exports.
China's export volume was stronger than expected in July, surging 14.5 percent from the previous year to 212.9 billion U.S. dollars, China's General Administration of Customs said in a statement Friday. The sharp rise in exports lifted China's trade surplus to a record 47.3 billion dollars last month.
Economists attributed the strong export figures mainly to further recovery in external demand.
Andrew Polk, China economist at the Conference Board, a New York-based research group, told Xinhua that the robust growth momentum of the U.S. economy in the second half of this year "will provide sort of a boost to Chinese exports because U.S. consumer demand seems like it's staying relatively strong right now."
U.S. consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of the U.S. economic activity, rose 0.4 percent in June, marking the fastest pace in three months, said the U.S. Commerce Department last Friday.
That is another evidence that the world's largest economy was gaining momentum after inclement weather conditions led to a flagging first quarter.
Echoing Polk's view, Michael Hanson, senior economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Research, said "a strong recovery in the U.S. is likely to benefit Chinese companies' exports."
The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 4 percent in the second quarter after unexpectedly shrinking in the first three months this year, reflecting positive contributions from personal consumption expenditures.
Hanson noted that Bank of America economists are expecting the U.S. economy to grow at a 3-percent pace in the second half of this year.
The United States is China's largest export market. According to China's customs data, China's exports to the United States was 212.5 billion dollars in the first seven months of 2014, up 6.3 percent from the year-ago period.
Meanwhile, latest U.S. official data also tracked similar trends. The U.S. trade deficit to China widened to 30.1 billion dollars in June, up 4.5 percent from May, reported the U.S. Commerce Department on Wednesday.
Looking ahead, Polk predicted that bilateral trade between the world's two largest economies in the second half of the year will be similar to the first half.
"Obviously exports helped buoy the (Chinese) economy in the second quarter. And I expect that they will continue to in the second half," Polk said.
Polk said that although exports growth is helpful to the Chinese economy and one last thing for Chinese policymakers to worry about, it will not be a game changer.
"It is not a big enough piece of the growth pie these days to really breathe life back into the domestic economy ... not the sort of silver bullet for Chinese growth," he added.
Polk said that China's real economic challenges are domestic. In order to address the core issue of economic slowdown, he suggested that "the two things that need to happen are fiscal reforms and SOE (state-owned enterprise) reform."
Over the long term, U.S. economists expressed optimism over the Chinese economy.
"Of course, the long-term drivers of China's economy are sound," Polk said, citing China's huge population and its very innovative society in general as reasons.