China’s exports unexpectedly fell at the strongest pace in two years in December, while imports also contracted, indicating weakness in the second-largest economy in 2019 and deteriorating global demand.
China Brazil’s main trading partner poses a threat to the economic growth plans of the new Bolsonaro administration.
Data released also showed that China had the largest trade surplus with the United States in 2018, which could lead US President Donald Trump to escalate threats over Beijing in its trade dispute.
Some analysts have speculated that Beijing may have to accelerate and intensify its easing policies and stimulus measures this year after industrial activity shrank in December.
China’s exports in December unexpectedly shrank 4.4 percent from a year earlier, with demand in most of its major markets weakening. Imports also surprised, shrinking 7.6 percent, in its biggest decline since July 2016.
Analysts had expected export growth to slow to 3 percent, with imports up 5 percent.