Status: 01/14/2022 12:56 p.m
China’s foreign trade surplus peaked last year – despite chip shortages and semiconductor shortages hampering production. Exports hit $3.3 trillion.
China posted a record export surplus in 2021. Exports exceeded imports by $676.43 billion, up 29.9 percent year-on-year, the Beijing Customs Bureau said. This is the highest value the country has ever achieved since statistics began in 1950. Chinese imports grew 30.1 percent for the year after falling 1.1 percent in 2020. There has been a strong increase in global demand for goods “Made in China” in the past year. For example, computers and other electronic devices that are required for working from home due to the pandemic were particularly in demand. Medical products such as masks were also needed around the world because of the pandemic. Overall, exports rose to $3.3 trillion last year despite shortages of processor chips for smartphones and other goods. “We expect Chinese exports to remain strong in the current first quarter on robust global demand,” said Pinpoint Asset Management chief economist Zhang Zhiwei. “For now, strong exports may be the only engine helping China’s economy .”
GDP is expected to grow by eight percent
In terms of gross domestic product, experts expect a particularly strong increase of 8.0 percent for the past year due to catch-up effects. According to an economist survey by the Reuters news agency, the world’s second-largest economy after the USA will continue to grow strongly in 2022. “Sufficient policy support should be provided, particularly in the first half of the year, to ensure economic growth does not fall below Beijing’s comfort zone,” said Tommy Wu of Oxford Economics. The central bank could loosen its monetary policy. However, the development of the Chinese economy will largely depend on the spread of the new coronavirus variant Omicron. Observers fear that the economic outlook could cloud over significantly, especially with the spread of Omicron, since China’s containment strategy could reach its limits due to the more easily transmitted variant of the corona virus. Last Sunday, China’s first local omicron cases were detected in the port city of Tianjin. Shortly thereafter, omicron infections also occurred in the port city of Dalian and in Anyang in eastern China. As a result, the government in Beijing sealed off the megacities to enforce the zero-Covid policy.
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