Economy

China-U.S. Trade Gap Grew to Biggest Ever in 2018

China-U.S. Trade Gap Grew to Biggest Ever in 2018

Customs data showed that Chinese exports rose 11.3 percent in 2018 to $478.4 billion, while imports from the U.S. only rose by 0.7 percent. Import growth declined to 12.9 per cent from the previous year's 15.9 percent.

Despite the levies, exports to the United States grew 11.3 percent past year while imports rose 0.7 percent, expanding the surplus to $323.3 billion from $275.8 billion in 2017, customs data show. Total trade reached $ 4.62 trillion, a 12.6 percent rise from 2017, according to customs data.

"Our country's export and import have reached record highs, and there is reason to hope that we will continue to remain the world's largest trading nation".

However, customs' data for December also showed that exports to the USA dropped 3.5 percent compared with December of the previous year, possibly due to United States tariffs on an array of Chinese goods.

China's exports have fallen to their lowest point in two years while imports are also down.

The Customs office is expected to release trade numbers for December later in the day.

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The cost of producing goods in China's factories slowed sharply in December, a sign demand remains weak, while consumer inflation also flagged.

The country's commerce minister told state media on Friday that China will work to straighten out trade frictions with the U.S. this year.

But a slew of bad data has added to concerns about China's economy, which is expected to have grown around 6.5% in 2018, down from 6.9% in 2017 and the weakest rate in nearly three decades.

Last year's trade surplus was $352 billion, the figures showed.

In 2018, the USA imposed billions of dollars worth of tariffs on Chinese products, prompting retaliation from Beijing and a trade war that analysts fear could escalate further and damage the global economy.


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