China may run a trade deficit by 2023, top economist suggests

Pauline Gross
January 13, 2018

By that data, last year's surplus is a record high, the wire service reported.

Imports from North Korea slumped 81.6 percent year-on-year to $54.34 million, Chinese customs spokesman Huang Songping said in a briefing in Beijing on Friday.

The Asian nation's exports last year expanded by 7.9 percent, while imports soared by 15.9 percent for the year.

Trade with China is politically sensitive as the world's second-largest economy runs surpluses against many of its trading partners.

Trump campaigned on a promise to get tough on Chinese trade practices, but he pulled his punches a year ago. His administration has slapped anti-dumping tariffs on a range of Chinese imports, such as aluminum and steel, and toughened its stance on Chinese investment in the U.S.

Chinese officials have threatened retaliation for any USA penalties in closed-door meetings with American officials and companies.

A commerce ministry spokesman, Gao Feng, said at a briefing on Thursday that China will "adopt all measures necessary to firmly protect the country's lawful interests and rights, should the US perversely take unilateral protectionist actions".

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Some economists and market analysts expect that, in the very least, 2018 is likely to bring plenty of trade fiction, and USA penalties on some Chinese imports.

The "continued strength of China's exports to the U.S.is bound to add to U.S".

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, before the latest trade figures were published, Mr. Trump suggested he would have resorted to sterner measures to correct the trade imbalance with China if it weren't for Beijing's help in pressuring North Korea to stop its nuclear weapons development.

China's trade figures don't match US figures due to different calculation methods.

In December, China's exports jumped 10.9% from a year ago to $231.8 billion, down from a 12.3% pace in the previous month. "In contrast, import growth slowed sharply, raising questions over the state of domestic demand", Julian Evans-Pritchard, an analyst with research firm Capital Economics in Singapore, said in a note.

Other data from the Chinese government indicate substantial improvement in growth from 2016.

US data show that the deficit in goods trade with China was already $347 billion in 2016.

Other reports by GizPress

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