BEIJING (Reuters) — China’s trade outlook for 2012 is worsening, weighed down especially by growing problems in Europe, the Commerce Ministry said on Thursday as it disclosed the longest run of falling growth in inward investment in the economy since the 2008-9 financial crisis.
The ministry singled out problems in the European Union — China’s biggest overseas market — as the core difficulty for exporters. It published data showing foreign direct investment from Europe fell 2.7 percent year on year, to $4 billion, in the first seven months of 2012.
“Right now, the sharp drop of exports to E.U. countries is the biggest important factor weighing on China’s export growth,” a ministry spokesman, Shen Danyang, said at a news conference.
“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,” Mr. Shen added.