China targets 7.5pc growth in 2014 exports

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 February, 2014, 12:57am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 February, 2014, 12:57am

China is targeting export growth of about 7.5 per cent this year, three people with direct knowledge of the matter said, setting sights lower than last year's pace.

The goal, based on the US dollar value of sales, had been distributed to economy-related ministries and local governments to serve as an internal guideline for planning, said the sources, who asked not to be named.

Overseas shipments rose 7.9 per cent last year, official data showed, as the government targeted 8 per cent growth in exports and imports combined.

The target may reflect the Ministry of Commerce's concerns last month that trade growth will not be faster than in 2013 amid an unstable global recovery. The strength of exports will help determine the pace of expansion in the world's second-biggest economy that analysts see slowing to a 24-year low of 7.4 per cent this year.

"As the European and US economies show signs of warming up, uncertainties remain for China's export outlook, such as the recent turmoil in emerging markets," said Liu Xuezhi, an analyst with Bank of Communications.

China's exports grew a faster-than-estimated 10.6 per cent in January from a year earlier, customs administration data showed on Wednesday, a pace that may be distorted by false invoices and the Lunar New Year holiday.

The export goal contrasts with the view of UBS economists led by Wang Tao in Hong Kong, who said in a report that they saw export gains "accelerating modestly" to 10 per cent this year, propelled by economic recoveries in the United States and Europe.

Hua Changchun, an economist with Nomura in Hong Kong, said the 7.5 per cent target might take into consideration an "inflated base" from 2013.

"In general, it shows the government's willingness to see a stable export sector this year," Hua said.