By Gina Lee
Investing.com – Growth in China’s exports and imports slowed down in December, with signs of a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy. However, solid demand continued to buoy Chinese exports.
Exports grew 20.9% year-on-year in December, higher than the 20% in forecasts prepared by Investing.com but lower than November’s 22% growth. Exports outperformed expectations for much of 2021, but shipments have slowed as an overseas surge in demand for goods decreases and high costs hit exporters.
Imports grew 19.5% year-on-year, below both the 26.3% in forecasts prepared by Investing.com and November's 31.7% growth. The trade balance was $94.46 billion in December, higher than the $74.50 billion forecasts prepared by Investing.com and November’s $71.72 billion figure.
Total exports rose 29.9% in 2021, compared to a 3.6% gain the year before. Imports for the year gained 30.1% percent, after falling 1.1 percent in 2020.
Strict restrictive measures to curb the continuous COVID-19 outbreaks and a property downturn are two of the challenges China faces in 2022 after it saw an initial economic recovery.
The country will roll out more policies to help exporters and ease the pressure of international logistics problems, Xinhua news agency said in late December 2021, citing a meeting of the State Council chaired by Premier Li Keqiang.
China will also face an unprecedented degree of difficulty in stabilizing foreign trade in 2022, as other exporters ramp up production and amid a less-favorable base of comparison, vice-minister of the commerce ministry Ren Hongbin said on Dec. 30.
The government also vowed to focus on stabilizing the economy and keeping growth within a reasonable range in 2022 at the annual Central Economic Work Conference that took place from Dec. 8 to 10, 2021.