In November, in USD terms, China’s exports dropped -1.1% yoy, below expectation of 1.0% yoy growth. Imports rose 0.3% yoy versus expectation of -1.8% yoy fall. Trade surplus narrowed to USD 38.7B, down from USD 42.8B and missed expectation of USD 44.5B.
As the 17-month trade war with US drags on, it was indeed the fourth consecutive of contraction in exports. On the other hand, the surprised growth in imports argued that the government’s stimulus might be in play in supporting domestic demand.
The upcoming Sunday, is the “natural deadline” for the phase one US-China trade deal. If nothing happens between now an then, a new round of tariffs on USD 156B of essentially all untaxed Chinese imports will take effect. US President Donald Trump said last week that talks were “moving right along”. Yet, he didn’t object to the idea of waiting until after 2020 election to seal the deal.