Bankinter| China’s December Trade Balance records a surplus of +$78B vs +$76.9B estimated and +$69.84B previous. Exports decelerate -9.9% vs -11.1% estimated and -8.7% previous. Imports also, but less: -7.5% vs -10% estimated and -10.6% previous.
Opinion: The trade surplus widens, which is good news, but it is due to lower imports (a symptom of weak domestic demand) and not to a rise in exports. In fact, exports are falling, in a context of slowing global demand. Lower exports and imports highlight the weakness of demand and do not, for the time being, reflect the relaxation of the anti-Covid policies implemented by the government at the end of 2022. For the year as a whole, China’s trade surplus amounted to $878 billion, a record high.