China’s Trade Growth Slows in December

Posted January 10th, 2012 at 5:30 am (UTC-5)
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New trade figures released by the Chinese government indicate the world’s second-largest economy is slowing.

Monthly data released Tuesday by the Customs Bureau indicates growth rate for imports was 11.8 percent in December, about half the 22.1 percent increase in November. Exports increased 13.4 percent last month, compared to the 13.8 percent rise in November.

China’s trade surplus rose from $14.5 billion in November to $16.5 billion last month. The surplus was $155.2 billion for all of 2011, the third straight annual decline after reaching a record $298 billion in 2008.

China’s economy has been affected by the European sovereign debt crisis and sluggish U.S. economy, which has cut demand for Chinese-made goods. Beijing has responded by reducing the amount of cash reserves banks must maintain in order to spur corporate lending.

Beijing is under intense pressure from the United States and its other trading partners to loosen controls on its currency, which they claim makes Chinese goods cheaper on the global marketplace.