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The growth rate, however, is slightly lower than the government’s full-year target of 8 per cent, published in the beginning of 2013.
China’s exports rose 7.9 per cent year on year to $2.21 trillion in 2013, while imports increased 7.3 per cent to $1.95 trillion, customs data revealed on Friday.
China’s trade with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), its third-largest trading partner, rose 10.9 per cent year on year to $443.6 billion.
In contrast, trade with the European Union (EU) rose merely 2.1 per cent year on year to $559.1 billion in 2013.
Trade with the US, China’s second-biggest trade partner, rose 7.5 per cent year on year to $521 billion.
Meanwhile, trade with Japan contracted 5.1 per cent year on year, to $312.55 billion as tensions are high between the two neighbours over Beijing’s accusations of Japan’s failure to repent for historical wrongs.
“Export growth slowdown [in December] was in line with market expectations, while import growth was better than expected,” said Lu Ting, chief China economist with the Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
Exports, along with retail sales and investment, have been one of the three main drivers for China’s rapid economic growth.
TBP and Agencies