Chinese exports soared to a record in 2020 as the world economy crashed

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China exported more to the rest of the world last year than ever, despite the global recession related to the COVID-19 pandemic, figures from the country’s customs administration showed on Thursday. The trade surplus reached an all-time high of $ 78 billion in December. Exports grew by double digits for the third month in a row, an 18.1% increase in dollar terms in December from a year earlier, thanks to strong sales of medical supplies and products related to the pandemic, such as home computers. This happened despite a severe recession in the country’s European and US markets, and a 6% rise in the Chinese currency against the dollar in 2020. China experienced a strong industrial recovery beginning in April, following strong measures taken to control the COVID-19 pandemic. which started in the Wuhan region. Imports also rose strongly in December, 6.5% in the month. The Chinese economy was the only one among the world’s major powers to grow in 2020. Official gross domestic product figures will be released next week and, by most forecasts, they should show growth of around 2% last year. . That compares with a 4% drop for the global economy. Read: Two rejected as WHO team begins investigating the origins of the pandemic in Wuhan

The outlook: Economists expect China’s export growth to slow in the coming months if Western economies manage to control the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and resume normal activity. But, as increased imports demonstrate, China’s domestic market and the country’s consumers can help sustain growth, if that happens. The strength and resilience of the Chinese economy would be a boon for the recovery of Europe and the United States, whose exporters will benefit from a rapidly growing market. That should help soften a potential protectionist backlash, especially since the administration of US President-elect Joe Biden is unlikely to be as strident about Chinese trade as its predecessor. From the Archives (Dec 2020): China’s ‘Unstoppable’ Global Luxury Market Share Nearly Doubling Amid Pandemic