Record US-China trade gap may signal slower global growth

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At the same time, China's imports from Russian Federation grew by 42.7 percent, reaching $59.08 billion.

The trade war was initiated by President Trump on receiving complaints from trade bodies in USA about unfair trade practices of Chinese manufacturers.

China's overall trade surplus for 2018 was $351.76 billion, the government said.

China's exports fell by a whopping Dollars 221.25 billion in December registering the biggest plunge in two years amid the ongoing trade war with the USA, highlighting the continued slowdown of the world's second largest economy.

Exports from China fell 4.4% last month compared with the year before, while imports fell 7.6%.

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The dismal December trade readings suggest China's economy may have cooled faster than expected late in the year, despite a slew of growth-boosting measures in recent months ranging from higher infrastructure spending to tax cuts.

In December, Asia's biggest economy imported a record 9.23mn mt of gas, customs department data said without providing year-on-year comparison.

China's December trade surplus with the USA fell to $29.87 billion from $35.54 billion in November.

Many US warehouses are already packed to the rafters with Chinese goods that American retailers rushed in ahead of higher tariffs.

Analysts, however, are predicting that this positive growth is unlikely to continue for much longer unless a rapid resolution between the world's two largest economies is reached.

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Some companies have shifted production of goods bound for the US from China to avoid USA tariffs.

The customs administration will work to "improve the country's business environment and expand foreign trade.in order to keep employment, the financial sector, foreign trade, foreign investment" stable, Li said, adding there are some "hidden concerns" and "uncertain external factors" for development.

Policies such as how the US uses the Committee on Foreign Investment in the USA, known as CFIUS, to more tightly examine transactions with Chinese companies pushed abandoned deals to an all-time high, the Rhodium report said. For all of 2018, soybeans, the second largest imports from the USA, fell for the first time since 2011. The cost of producing goods in China's factories slowed sharply in December, a sign demand remains weak, while consumer inflation also flagged.

Sources told Reuters last week that Beijing is planning to lower its economic growth target to 6-6.5 per cent this year after an expected 6.6 per cent in 2018, the slowest pace in 28 years.

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