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China Exports Continue To Expand Strongly In December

chinatrade july12 13jan21 lt

China's exports continued to log robust growth in December driven by higher global demand for pandemic-induced goods, official data revealed Thursday.

Exports grew 18.1 percent on a yearly basis in December, faster than the expected growth of 15.0 percent, data from the General Administration of Customs, showed. Nonetheless, the rate of increase slowed from 21.1 percent posted in November.

Driven by domestic demand, imports growth advanced to 6.5 percent from 4.5 percent a month ago. This was also faster than the economists' forecast of +5.0 percent.

As a result, the trade surplus increased to $78.17 billion from $75.4 billion in the previous month. Economists had forecast the surplus to fall to $72.4 billion.

In the whole year of 2020, the trade surplus surged to $535 billion, the highest since 2015. Despite trade disputes, China's surplus with the US rose to $316.9 billion.

Exports continued to do well, as renewed lockdowns abroad ensured the shift in consumption from services to goods persisted in many of China's trading partners, Julian Evans-Pritchard and Sheana Yue, economists at Capital Economics, said.

But further ahead, the current strength of exports is unlikely to be sustained indefinitely, especially given that consumption patterns overseas should gradually return to normal as vaccines are rolled out, they said.

And imports are likely to drop back as policy support is gradually withdrawn throughout this year, the economists noted.

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