China's Export Growth May Halve to 16% as Europe, U.S. Slow, Report Shows

China’s export growth may slow over the rest of the year to less than half the pace of the first six months, a government agency forecast.

The gain for July-through-December may be 16.3 percent from a year earlier, the China Securities Journal said today, citing a report by the State Information Center. That would be down from 35 percent in the first half, customs bureau data show.

Weaker export growth may exacerbate a second-half slowdown in the expansion of the world’s third-biggest economy, encouraging the government to limit gains by the yuan against the dollar. China last month indicated that it was ending a two- year peg to the U.S. currency.

“The main concern surrounding China’s export outlook is the sustainability of the global recovery,” Alaistair Chan, a Sydney-based economist at Moody’s Economy.com, said in a report today. “Exports are likely to face strong headwinds in coming months.”

The State Information Center, a research body under the National Development and Reform Commission, said export growth may slow each quarter. It cited the removal of tax rebates, weaker demand because of Europe’s debt crisis, and comparisons with higher base levels.

Trade Advantage

The U.S. called last month for the Chinese currency to gain “significantly,” seeing an undervalued yuan as giving the Asian nation an unfair advantage in global trade.

The yuan declined the most in two weeks today, dropping 0.07 percent to 6.7798 per dollar as of 12:15 p.m. in Shanghai.

For the full year, overseas shipments may climb 24.5 percent, the report said. That would compare with a 16 percent decline in 2009.

Imports may gain 19.3 percent in the second half, the newspaper said, citing stabilizing commodity prices and slowing investment demand. That would compare with a gain of more than 50 percent in the first half.

China’s gross domestic product expanded 10.3 percent in the second quarter, down from 11.9 percent in the first, the government reported last week. Exports were a record $137 billion in June.

The economy is cooling after the government tempered credit growth and investment spending and cracked down on real-estate speculation.

--Chinmei Sung, Huiwen Yang. Editor: Paul Panckhurst, Stephanie Phang.

To contact the reporter on this story: Chinmei Sung in Taipei at csung4@bloomberg.net.

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