Imports to China – additional information
In 2013, China had surpassed the United States as the world’s largest goods trader. That year, China’s imports and exports had summed up to more than four trillion U.S. dollars. As shown in the graph at hand, there has been a fairly steady increase in imports over the last decade, except in 2009. China’s imports of goods had decreased by around 11 percent due to the global financial crisis in 2009, before recovering to a positive growth in 2010.
In 2012, China's import contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) had ranged at more than 20 percent. The European Union (EU) is one of China’s most important trading partners, with imports worth approximately 220 billion U.S. dollars in 2013. EU exports to China were mainly focused on machinery and motor vehicles. In 2012, China had imported cars from the EU with a value of approximately 19 billion euros.
Another commonly used economic indicator for international trade is a country’s trade balance. It refers to the value of exported goods minus the value of imported goods. In 2013, China had generated a trade surplus, which amounted to around 260 billion U.S. dollars, hitting a record high since 2009.