BEIJING: China's trade outlook for the second half of 2012 will be more severe than in the first six months, darkened by the persistent European debt crisis and a slower than expected global economic recovery, the Commerce Ministry said on Thursday.
The comments came as China revealed that growth in foreign direct investment into the country had extended its run of year on year declines, with inflows from the European Union (EU) down 2.7 percent to $4.0 billion between January and July versus the same period in 2011.
"Right now, the sharp drop of exports to EU countries is the biggest important factor weighing on China's export growth," Shen Danyang, Commerce Ministry spokesman, told a regular news conference.
"With the European debt crisis spreading and the global economy recovering at a slower than expected pace, we expect China's trade situation in the second half will become more severe and we are facing more pressure to meet the annual target for trade growth," Shen added.
China aims to grow total trade by an average of 10 percent through 2012.
Data has been particularly volatile so far this year, with July export growth virtually stalling, up just 1.0 percent on a year ago versus the consensus estimate in a Reuters poll of an 8.6 percent expansion.
Import growth was 4.7 percent yearonyear in July against expectations of 7.2 percent. - Reuters