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China's trade may continue to face woes

By Wang Yanlin (Shanghai Daily)

09:32, December 13, 2012

CHINA'S trade may continue to face difficulties in 2013 because of the unresolved debt crisis in Europe and the weak global demand, the State Information Center said in a report published yesterday.

The government think tank said China's exports may grow 8 percent next year while imports may rise 7.8 percent.

In the first 11 months of this year, exports expanded 7.3 percent on an annual basis while imports rose 4.1 percent.

"China's foreign trade will expand slowly in 2013 as factors hampering global economic recovery may not disappear easily," the report said.

"Besides, rising labor costs, a stronger yuan and the shortage of credit for small traders will add to the existing difficulties," it said.

Most cities have raised their minimum salary over the past two years.

October's China Import and Export Fair was a harbinger of the difficulties for next year's trade. Visitor numbers at the fair fell more than 10 percent from the event's spring session in May, and the value of deals signed also fell 9.3 percent.

Although China's exports performed surprisingly better in September and October, a sharp easing was seen in November data. Exports last month only grew 2.9 percent from a year earlier, weakening from the 11.6 percent surge in October.

In the first 11 months, China's foreign trade rose 5.8 percent, and it is unlikely the country's 10 percent growth target for this year will be met.

The think tank projected China's economy to grow 8 percent next year, with industrial output gaining 10.5 percent.

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