China trade balance up more than expected in Dec amid easing COVID curbs
By Ambar Warrick
Investing.com -- China’s trade surplus grew more than expected in December, data showed on Friday, as both exports and imports shrank less than expected as easing anti-COVID restrictions aided economic activity.
China’s trade balance grew to a surplus of $78 billion in December, data from the Customs Administration showed. The figure was higher than expectations of $76.2B, as well as last month’s reading of $69.84B.
Exports shrank 9.9% from last year, slightly less than expectations for a drop of 10%, but more than November’s decline of 8.7%. The reading came as Chinese producers still struggled with COVID-related disruptions in the country, as well as sluggish global demand for Chinese goods.
While the Chinese government has now largely pivoted away from its draconian zero-COVID policy, China is grappling with its worst-yet outbreak of the virus, which is expected to delay a bigger economic recovery in the country.
Still, Chinese imports fell 7.5% from last year, largely ducking analyst forecasts for a drop of 9.8%, and better than November’s decline of 10.6%. The reading shows that domestic demand is seeing some recovery after contracting sharply in 2022.
Inflation data released earlier this week also showed that some facets of the Chinese economy were indeed recovering in the wake of easing COVID-19 curbs. But a weaker-than-expected reading on producer price index inflation, coupled with consumer inflation remaining near lows hit in 2022, showed that a recovery will take time.
Readings for January are likely to present a better picture of the Chinese economy, given that the country reopened its international borders earlier this month after three years of lockdowns.
This has spurred a massive spike in domestic and international travel, which is beneficial to the economy.
The Chinese government also reportedly rolled out more stimulus measures on Friday, which targeted the housing market.
The Chinese yuan reacted positively to the trade data, rising 0.2% and hovering just below a six-month high.
Add Chart to Comment
We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:
- Enrich the conversation
- Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
- Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
- Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
- NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
- Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
- Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
- Only English comments will be allowed.
Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.
Drop an image here or Supported formats: *.jpg, *.png, *.gif up to 5mb
Drop an image here or