China’s December exports rose 20.9% from a year ago, slightly more than expected

Containers sit at the Yangshan Port in Shanghai, China, Aug. 6, 2019.
Aly Song | Reuters

BEIJING — China’s exports grew slightly more than expected in December, while imports rose less than expected, according to customs data released Friday.

Exports rose by 20.9% year-on-year in U.S. dollar-terms, above the 20% increase forecast by a Reuters poll.

Imports grew by 19.5% in U.S. dollar-terms, missing expectations of a 26.3% increase.

“We expect China’s exports to remain strong in Q1 because of resilient global demand and worsening pandemic in many developing countries,” Zhiwei Zhang, chief economist, Pinpoint Asset Management, said in a note.

“Currently the strong exports may be the only driver helping China’s economy. We expect infrastructure investment to be the second driver picking up in the next few months,” he said.

Zhang said Covid outbreaks in more cities add more downside risks to China’s economic outlook for the first quarter.

China is set to release GDP, retail sales and other data for 2021 on Monday.

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

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