Chinas Q1 trade surplus with U.S. rises 19.4 pct y/y

Outstanding yuan loans grew 12.8 percent from a year earlier, slower than an expected 12.9 percent rise and compared with a rise of 12.8 percent in February.

China's exports to the US increased 14.8 percent from a year earlier in January-March period, spokesman Huang Songping told a briefing in Beijing, while imports from the USA also rose 8.9 percent.

After Trump unveiled another set of planned tariffs last Friday, Xi this week struck a conciliatory note, promising to cut tariffs on cars - a key point of USA anger - and other imports, as well as further open up the economy.

However, the trade deficit for the year ending in March widened to $156.8 billion from $105.72 billion in the previous year, a growing concern for the central bank, the data showed.

Sales of new energy vehicles, mainly comprising electric and hybrid vehicles, jumped by over 117% year on year to 68,000 units last month.

But with the threat of tariffs hanging over almost a third of China's exports to the United States, analysts say its companies and their U.S. customers may try to front load shipments before any measures kick in.

China's trade surplus with the United States surged by a fifth in the first three months of the year, with Beijing calling on Washington yesterday to be patient as tensions between the economic superpowers simmer.

The actions come just after Chinese President Xi Jinping's promise last Tuesday to roll out measures to lower tariffs on imported cars and to ease foreign ownership restrictions on auto makers in China. "He's going to open it up, take down a lot of the trade barriers - maybe all of them", Trump told lawmakers on Thursday.

"Again, we're doing really well with China. We ask this Committee and Members of Congress to help allow soybean farmers be part of the solution instead of collateral damage from a potential trade war", concluded Heisdorffer. "We put a US$50 billion tariff on, and then we put a US$100 billion tariff on".

The Austrian officials signed $1.85 billion in contracts with China, according to the report.

Trade between the two nations remained strong in the first quarter, with bilateral exchanges rising 13 percent to $142 billion.

The two countries may end up levying no new tariffs on each other, Mr Trump said.

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