China posts strong­est ex­port growth in 7 years in 2018 de­spite trade war

Business World - - World Business -

BEI­JING — China’s ex­ports rose 9.9% in 2018, its strong­est trade per­for­mance in seven years, de­spite grow­ing dis­rup­tions from an es­ca­lat­ing trade war with the United States, cus­toms data showed on Mon­day.

Im­ports in­creased 15.8% last year, re­sult­ing in a trade sur­plus of $351.76 bil­lion, the coun­try’s low­est since 2013.

The world’s largest trad­ing na­tion got off to a strong start in 2018, but pres­sure on the econ­omy started to build later in the year as the US and China be­gan im­pos­ing tar­iffs on each other’s goods and global de­mand started to cool.

The Cus­toms of­fice is ex­pected to re­lease trade num­bers for De­cem­ber later in the day.

China’s ex­port growth is ex­pected to have eased for a sec­ond straight month in De­cem­ber as global de­mand weak­ened, rais­ing pres­sure on Bei­jing as it tries to reach a trade deal with Washington.

Soft­en­ing de­mand in China is al­ready be­ing felt around the world, with slow­ing sales of goods rang­ing from iPhones to au­to­mo­biles adding to fears of cool­ing global growth.

Sources told Reuters last week that Bei­jing is plan­ning to lower its eco­nomic growth tar­get to 6-6.5% this year af­ter an ex­pected 6.6% in 2018, the slow­est pace in 28 years. —

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