China's second half trade outlook severe

City A.M. Reporter
China's trade outlook for 2012 is worsening, darkened especially by growing problems in Europe, the Commerce Ministry said today as it revealed the longest run of falling inward investment growth in the economy since the 2008-09 global crisis.

The ministry singled out problems in the European Union – China's biggest overseas market – as the core difficulty for exporters to overcome as it published data showing foreign direct investment from the EU fell 2.7 per cent year on year to $4bn (£2.5bn) in the first seven months of 2012.

"Right now, the sharp drop of exports to EU countries is the biggest important factor weighing on China's export growth," Commerce Ministry spokesman Shen Danyang told a 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 per cent in 2012, but shipments have been volatile so far this year.
Data published earlier this month showed China's exports to the EU sank 16.2 per cent year on year in July to $29.4bn.