16 August 2012 /REUTERS
China's trade outlook for 2012 is worsening, darkened especially by growing problems in Europe, the Commerce Ministry said on Thursday 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 (FDI) from the EU fell 2.7 percent year on year to $4.0 billion 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 held alongside the publication of FDI data. "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 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 percent year-on-year in July to 29.4 billion.