Containers stand at Yangshan Port in Shanghai, China, August 6, 2019.
Aly Song | Reuters
BEIJING – China’s exports grew slightly more than expected in December, while imports rose less than expected, according to customs data released on Friday.
Exports increased by 20.9% year-on-year in US dollars, above the 20% increase estimated by a Reuters poll.
Imports grew by 1[ads1]9.5% measured in US dollars, and lacked expectations of an increase of 26.3%.
The figure for December also marked a sharp decline from November, when imports rose by 31.7% from the previous year. Exports had grown by 22% from the previous year in November.
“We expect China’s exports to remain strong in Q1 due to robust global demand and a worsening pandemic in many developing countries,” said Zhiwei Zhang, chief economist at Pinpoint Asset Management, in a note.
“For now, strong exports may be the only driver helping China’s economy. We expect infrastructure investment to be the second driver to pick up in the coming months,” he said.
US trade with China is increasing
The United States remained China’s largest trading partner on a single country basis. Only two regions, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union, traded more with China in 2021, the data showed.
Exports to the United States increased by 27.5% for the year to $ 576.11 billion, while imports grew by 32.7% to $ 179.53 billion for the year, customs data showed.
This meant that for 2021, China’s trade surplus with the US was $ 396.58 billion, marking the second year in a row that profits have risen since a fall between 2018 and 2019 amid trade tensions with the US