China logs record trade surplus with United States in 2018

Imports of American goods rose just 0.7 per cent over 2017. Exports to America increased the official Chinese Figures show that in 2018, up by 11.3 percent.

That left the country with a trade surplus of $57.06 billion for the month, the General Administration of Customs said, compared with analysts' expectations for a surplus of $51.53 billion, up from $44.71 billion in November. Imports rose 12.9 percent to $2.1 trillion, down from the previous year's 15.9 percent.

China's large trade surplus with the United States has always been a sore point with Washington, and is at the centre of a bitter dispute between the world's biggest economies. However, upon closer look, the statistics noted a drop in Chinese exports and imports.

But penalties of up to 25 percent already imposed on billions of dollars of each other's goods remain in place, raising the cost for American and Chinese buyers of soybeans, medical equipment and consumer goods, from purses and bicycles to furniture and tech gear. "A potential downturn in the sector poses the real risk to China's external outlook even if China and the U.S. reach a resolution on their trade dispute". China has retaliated with tariffs of its own.

"We're doing very well with China", Trump told reporters at the White House.

US President Donald Trump on Monday said it's good to have relationship with countries like Russia, China, Japan and India as he expressed hope to reach a trade deal with Beijing.

All being said and done, the economic data from China is being closely watched by economists all across the globe for signs of damage inflicted by the trade war between Washinton and Beijing.

China's annual passenger vehicle sales fell last year for the first time in more than 20 years, as the trade war with the U.S. rocked consumer confidence and Beijing reined in auto financing channels.

China's export growth is expected to have eased for a second straight month in December as global demand weakened, raising pressure on Beijing as it tries to reach a trade deal with Washington. The battle between both these superpowers had disrupted businesses that are related to their smooth relationship and has stoked fears about slowdown in global economy due to it.

In an annual meeting of top leaders last month, China said it will boost support for the economy in 2019 by cutting taxes and stepping up policy adjustments.

  • David Armstrong