China trade surplus breaks record monthly level



Thomas Hale | Financial Times

China’s trade surplus hit its highest ever monthly level in December, as the country’s exports continued to boom during the coronavirus pandemic.

Exports grew 18.1 per cent in dollar terms last month, while imports rose by 6.5 per cent, pushing the trade surplus to a record $78bn. Both exports and imports exceeded forecasts of economists polled by Bloomberg.

China’s exports have benefited from higher demand for medical products and lockdown-related goods at a time when global trade has come under intense pressure and other big economies have struggled to cope.

That surge in trade has helped boost China’s economy, which has recovered rapidly from the early impact of the pandemic. Gross domestic product data to be released early next week are expected to show that the Chinese economy expanded 2.1 per cent last year.

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