Slowdown in exports in December, imports must

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s export growth continued to slow in December, albeit beating consensus, amid rising factory activity and strong global demand, while imports slowed sharply, indicating a weakness of the interior activity.

According to data from Chinese customs published on Friday, exports increased last month by 20.9% year on year, against 22% in November. Analysts on average expected a 20% increase.

While China’s solid exports beat expectations for much of last year, helping the world’s second-largest economy rebound, with some sectors under pressure, overseas shipments have slowed due to a deflation in orders and rising costs.

Chinese imports rose 19.5% year-on-year in December, official data show, marking a sharp decline from the 31.7% increase recorded the previous month and missing the consensus which was +26, 3%.

China’s trade surplus last month was $94.46 billion, down from $71.72 billion in November, while economists on average had expected $74.50 billion.

Over the whole of 2021, Chinese exports rose by 29.9%, compared to +3.6% in 2020. Imports increased by 30.1% over the past year, after declining by 1.1% in 2020.

(Report Shen Yan, Albee Zhang and Gabriel Crossley; French version Jean Terzian)

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