Beware: China December Export Growth Slows Significantly
Investors should take note of China’s slowing growth in December exports. The reduced pace may have been due to a higher comparison base from a year ago and a clamp-down on speculative activities disguised as export deals, causing December exports to fall short of the government’s official target on foreign trade. But the outlook for 2014 is expected to be brighten as global demand picks up, giving more wiggle room for Chinese leaders to push through changes to balance the world’s second-largest economy. Exports rose 4.3 percent in December from a year earlier, China’s Customs Administration reported, slowing abruptly from 12.7 percent in November and falling below market expectations of 4.9 percent. China’s December imports rose 8.3 percent, quickening from 5.3 percent in November and overshooting the same rate expected by the market, raising optimism that domestic demand may remain firm despite signs that the world’s second-largest economy is losing steam. Global investors may want to watch the next report closely for a reversal or consider buying Chinese shares at a slightly discounted price on a day of disappointing news.