China’s bellwether import-export trade fair showed a decline in orders year-on-year, indicating that strong external demand which helped buoy growth in the third quarter may not be sustainable in the final three months of the year.
The China Import and Export Fair, popularly known as the Canton Fair, generated 179.2 billion yuan ($29.30 billion), organizers said in a statement on Tuesday, the final day of the event that began on Oct. 15. That’s 8.6 percent less than last fall’s fair after accounting for currency fluctuations.
The twice-yearly event is China’s biggest trade exhibition and is seen as a forward indicator of demand for the country’s exports.
The importance of the fair has declined as the world’s second-largest economy seeks to shift away from exports and manufacturing toward consumption and services to find new drivers of growth.
Despite the desire to pivot away from trade, analysts said strong export growth contributed significantly to China’s 7.3 percent growth in the third quarter from a year earlier, beating expectations of 7.2 percent.