Exports in December were $340.5 billion, taking the full year total to $3.36 trillion. Imports were $246 billion in December and $2.69 trillion for the year.
The data confirms the picture seen all year — strong demand for Chinese goods of all kinds as the nation’s factories pumped out everything from electronics to garden furniture. But trade growth is expected to slow in the new year, as demand for work-from-home technology and health care equipment slows and consumption shifts toward services as the rest of world starts to live with Covid.
The dependence on Chinese production may be reduced if production in places like Southeast Asia recovers. An omicron outbreak in China is also sending jitters through supply chains, as the nation’s production and shipping face disruptions from virus containment measures.