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China reports on 2018 World Trade

01/17/2019

In 2018, China reported that global exports rose by 9.9 percent and imports increased 15.8 percent for the year. These increases mask the impact of a substantial slowdown in trade and decreased domestic spending during the last quarter of the year. An indication of the decline in economic activity is demonstrated in December data. Overall, exports fell 4.4 percent from December 2017, but imports were by 7.6 percent lower, confirming both decreased domestic demand and manufacturing output.

Despite tariffs imposed by the U.S., China widened the trade surplus with our Nation by 17.2 percent to $323 billion. The increase was in part due to importers ordering ahead of anticipated increases in tariffs and will probably not carry forward. Exports to the U.S. declined 3.5 percent in December while imports by China from the U.S. were down 35 percent for December 2018. Total exports from China are estimated to be $2.18 Trillion in 2018.