BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s exports and imports growth slowed in December after surging in the previous month, adding to signs of ebbing economic momentum as the government extends a crackdown on financial risks and factory pollution.
A synchronized uptick in the global economy over the past year has been a boon to China and much of trade-dependent Asia, with Chinese exports in 2017 growing at their quickest pace in four years.
December - Imports - Slowdown - Concerns - World
The sharp December imports slowdown, however, is raising concerns that the world’s second-biggest economy faces domestic-demand pressure as authorities turn off cheap credit and restrict speculative financing.
“We have since long expected China’s domestic demand and imports to slow in 2018 on gradually tighter monetary and financial policies and slower real estate activity momentum”, said Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics in Hong Kong.
December - Exports - Percent - Year - Analysts
In December, exports rose 10.9 percent from a year earlier, beating analysts’ forecast of a 9.1 percent increase, but cooling from a robust 12.3 percent gain in November, the General Administration of Customs said on Friday.
Imports grew at an even slower pace of 4.5 percent year-on-year last month, the weakest since they rose 3.1 percent in December 2016, and way below forecasts of 13.0 percent growth. They had boomed 17.7 percent in the previous month.
December - Slowdown - Picture - Appetite - Products
Despite the December slowdown, the overall picture for 2017 underscored strong global appetite for Chinese products ranging from electronics, household appliances and a vast array of consumer goods.
Exports from the Asian giant for the full year rose 7.9 percent, the fastest rate since 2013, while imports also gained a sizzling 15.9 percent – the best since 2011, thanks to insatiable Chinese demand for commodities.
Customs - Spokesman - Huang - Songping - Friday
But customs spokesman Huang Songping on Friday cautioned that strong growth in foreign trade would be difficult for China to maintain, adding that half of the growth rate in...
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