Chinese exports grow more than expected in Dec, imports quicken

CountryMiddle east

BEIJING - Chinese exports grew more than expected in December, customs data showed on Thursday, as coronavirus disruptions around the world fuelled demand for Chinese goods even as a stronger yuan made exports more expensive for overseas buyers.A robust domestic recovery also spurred Chinese appetite for foreign products in December, with import growth quickening from the month prior and beating expectations in a Reuters poll.Exports rose 18.1% in December from a year earlier, slowing from a 21.1% jump in November but beating expectations for a 15% rise. Imports increased 6.5% year-on-year last month, topping a 5% forecast and picking up pace from November's 4.5% growth.Buoyant exports helped drive an impressive rebound in China's manufacturing sector last year, as the pandemic wreaked havoc abroad. China is expected to be the only major economy to see positive growth in 2020. Exports grew 3.6% over the full year and imports fell 1.1%.While the pandemic will bring challenges, a reviving global economy and a steady recovery in China's domestic economy provide a foundation for China to maintain trade growth in 2021, said Li Kuiwen, customs spokesman, at a briefing.Going forward, analysts say sustained demand for medical supplies and work-from-home products from coronavirus-hit trading partners more...