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China's trade surplus down 9.1 pct in 2016

China's trade surplus down 9.1 pct in 2016

China posted gloomy data on Friday, with 2016 exports falling by 7.7 percent year on year. We hope China and the USA, as the two largest economies, can have promising further developments in economic and trade cooperation.

Chinese customs reported today (Jan. 13) underwhelming trade data (link in Chinese) for the full year in 2016.

The disappointing figures come as the country tries to position itself as a leader of the global trade regime in anticipation of a United States retreat under its proudly protectionist new leader.

In US dollar terms, exports were down 6.1 percent, compared to market expectations of a 3.5 percent decline according to a Reuters poll.

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The M2, a broad measure of money supply that covers cash in circulation and all deposits, rose 11.3 percent year on year to 155.01 trillion yuan by the end of December.

"There remain some obstacles facing China's foreign trade development", customs spokesman Huang Songping (黃頒平) told reporters at a news conference announcing the results, adding that the global trading environment was "severe and complex". "We will pay close attention to foreign trade policy after Trump is inaugurated president". "The trend of anti-globalization is becoming increasingly evident, and China is the biggest victim of this trend", customs spokesman Huang Songping said.

They add that even if the Trump administration takes no concrete action immediately, the specter of deteriorating US-China trade and political ties is likely to weigh on the confidence of exporters and investors worldwide. China's total trade also fell in 2015 as the yuan lost value and the country's economic growth slowed down to the lowest rate in over 25 years, prompting the national government to announce economic reforms. "Further upside to economic activity, both in China and overseas, is probably now limited given declines in trend growth", he said.

He noted that pairing strategies of development of Russian Federation and China, as well as the strategies for developing One Belt, One Road and the Eurasian Economic Union create prerequisites for further strengthening of trade and economic ties.

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