China’s Trade Surplus Hit a Record $676 Billion in 2021




China’s record-breaking export strength continued into December, pushing the annual trade surplus to a new high and providing support to an economy being dragged down by a property-market slump and sporadic Covid outbreaks.

Exports in December were $340.5 billion, taking the full year total to $3.36 trillion, according to a customs administration statement Friday. Imports were $246 billion in December and $2.69 trillion for the year, leaving a trade surplus of $94.5 billion for the month and $676 billion for the full year. 

The data confirms the picture seen all year — strong demand for Chinese goods of all kinds as the nation’s factories pumped out everything from electronics to garden furniture. But trade growth is expected to be weaker in the new year, as demand for work-from-home technology and health care equipment slows and consumption shifts toward services as the rest of world starts to live with Covid. 

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