China Exports Shrink Lower-Than-Expected in December, Growing 7.7% in 2022

China’s exports and imports for December shrank less than the market’s expectations, reflecting that the overall outlook for trade in the world’s second largest country was still growing in 2022.

In December, exports in U.S.-dollar terms fell by 9.9% year-on-year (YoY), which was slightly better than a forecast of a 10% decrease by Reuters poll. Meanwhile, imports shrank by 7.5% YoY, which was also lower than Reuter poll’s forecast for 9.8%.

China’s strong exports have been buoying its economy in recent years, but economists expected trade to slow down over shrinking demand from the U.S. and Europe. The effect was shown in October 2022 when China’s exports started to fall, which was the first time since May 2020.

Still, China’s exports record a 7.7% growth in 2022, while imports notched a 1.1% growth.