China’s foreign trade environment will remain favorable in 2018, although the trade protectionism risks still keep growing, the commerce ministry said on Nov 6.
The Chinese government is implementing policies to cool the property sector and deal with debt risks in the economy. China’s stronger than expected trade performance this year has provided support for the economy.
“Looking forward to 2018, China’s foreign trade conditions are generally favorable as the global economy steadily recovers, and China’s economy grows smoothly,” the ministry said.
“But there are still many external risks and uncertainties with economic and non-economic factors intertwined. As trade protectionism continues to grow, domestic costs also continue to rise. As a result, pressure on business has increased, and the development of China’s foreign trade continues to face many difficulties and challenges.”
After several years of contraction, China’s foreign trade has recovered this year, even though the government has not set a specific target for international trade growth in past two years.
Growth in foreign trade may slow down, but will remain at a high level in the fourth quarter, a ministry report said.
Economists expect China’s exports have risen 7.2 percent on-year in October, slower than 8.1 percent the previous month.
Economists are positive about the Chinese export outlook due to the improvement in the global economy. Capital Economist Evans-Pritchard, still feels that China’s imports may face “a sharper slowdown,” because of that the support to the economy from a loose fiscal policy reverses. And local governments are forced to rein in spending in the final months of the year to meet budget targets.
With a GDP growth of 6.9 percent in the first half, China’s economy is also on firmer footing this year, contributing to brisk import growth.
The IMF raised its forecast for China growth for the fourth time this year in its latest report. The IMF predicts that China’s economy will grow 6.8 percent this year, and 6.5 percent next year, both 0.1 percentage point higher than its previous forecasts.