China Records Worst Annual Export Slump Since 2009
China's export market took a huge hit for second year in a row as the country's export figures showed its worst performance since 2009's recession peak period. The persistently weak global demand apparently took toll on Chinese exporters for second year in running.
As per the official data released on Friday, China's annual export declined 7.7 percent in 2016, while imports fell by 5.5 percent, bringing the country's trade surplus to approximately $ 509.96 billion.
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While 2016 was a tough year for Chinese exports, the outlook for 2017 does not look great either as Donald Trump is set begin his reign in the White House in less than a week. Trump's barrage of tirades against China's trade practices during explosive election campaign has possibly set a stage for US-China trade war.
"Our worry is that Trump's stance towards China's trade could bring about long-term structural weakness in China's exports," economists at ANZ Bank said in a note.
"Trump's trade policy will likely motivate U.S. businesses to move their manufacturing facilities away from China."
However, ever since winning the election, Trump has rarely taken a swipe against China's trade practices as he chose to focus on other sensitive issues like 'South China Sea' and 'Taiwan'.
Although the Trump's spectre will certainly loom large, the Chinese economy can take respite in the fact that several key economic indicators have started to pick up. This should give a much needed boost to Chinese leaders on the country's economic performance in 2017.
China's factory activities in the month of December showed a robust growth, while real estate sector also picked up on the back of government intervention. The Chinese consumer spending in 2016 also surprisingly remained robust, which helped in keeping the domestic demand stable.