Bad news for the Chinese Economy, the country’s trade slumped has worsened in December as exports fell at their fastest rate in a decade, aggravating a decline that fueled a way of layoffs and fear of unrest.
The nations December exports fell by 2.8% from the same month a year earlier, after a 2.2 % decline in November. China’s global trade surplus for 2008 rose 12.7 % over 2007 to a record of $ 295.5 billion, possibly worsening tensions with the government of U.S. President elect Barack Obama.
China’s trade surplus in January totalled $ US 39.11 billion, roughly in line with $ US 39.00 billion in December. According to Dow Jones Newswires, “The Chinese market had expected an 11 % drop in exports, a 25% fall in imports, and a trade surplus of $ US 29.9 billion last month, according to the median forecasts of 15 economists surveyed.”
Chinese imports of crude oil have dropped to a 15 month low (January est.) of 12.8 million tonnes, or an average of 3.03 million barrels a day. But according to Gong Jinshuang, a senior engineer at China National Petroleum Research Institute of Economics & Technology,”China’s major refineries may still be well stocked with crude oil after robust buying last year.”
If we analyze China’s monthly trade surplus with United States, it has fallen by 9.5% from a year earlier to 12.4 billion (December est.), but the total 2008 surplus with the United States rose 4.6% to 170.8 billion.
Beijing has started to cut taxes for exporters and has taken other steps to help struggling manufacturers. The government is trying to reduce reliance on exports with a 4 trillion yuan ($ 586 billion) stimulus package announced in November which is aimed at boosting domestic consumption. Premier Wen Jiabao, China’s top economic official, has promised additional steps to create new jobs.
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