(Yicai Global) Dec. 10 -- China's import and export growth missed forecasts after decelerating in November, according to data from its customs agency.
Total exports gained 5.4 percent to USD227 billion while imports rose 3 percent to USD183 billion, the General Administration of Customs said online on Dec. 8. The trade balance jumped 16.4 percent to USD44.8 billion.
The growth was significantly weaker than expected, said Lian Ping, chief economist at the Bank of Communications' financial research center. The economic slowdown in developed countries, which had high base figures last year, and the negative impact of trade frictions led to reduced export growth, he continued.
"The trade data in November showed a sharp drop from the previous month, indicating that some of the effects caused by economic and trade frictions are gradually disappearing," added Yang Changyong, an associate researcher at the China Institute of Macroeconomics Research's foreign research arm. China and the United States have stopped increasing the tariffs and the recent increase in Chinese agricultural exports to the US may wind in the growing trade surplus, he said.
Despite the slowing growth, areas with higher added value -- like mechanical and electrical goods -- grew faster, and the rise in exports of clothing, bags, shoes and similar goods slowed.
Year to Date
Over the first 11 months, China's imports leapt 18.4 percent to USD2 trillion, while exports rose 11.8 percent to USD2.3 trillion, the data showed. The trade surplus over the period fell 18.1 percent to USD300 billion.
Much of the growth came from neighboring and developed economies. China's total trade value with Europe rose 12.2 percent to USD624 billion, with the US rose 10.9 percent to USD583 billion, with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations gained 16.6 percent to USD540 billion and with Japan jumped 9.7 percent to USD31 billion.
Trade with countries along the Belt and Road, Chinese President Xi Jinping's master plan for a global infrastructure and trade route, also increased 14.4 percent to USD1.1 trillion, 3.3 percentage points higher than China's overall trade growth rate.
Editor: James Boynton