BEIJING, Jan. 4 -- China's foreign trade probably reached 2.55 trillion U.S. dollars last year, up 18 percent from 2007, according to an analysis released on Sunday by the General Administration of Customs.
The trade surplus was about 290 billion U.S. dollars, it said.
In the first 11 months of 2008, external trade was 2.38 trillion U.S. dollars, up 20.9 percent year-on-year. The growth rate was 2.6 percentage points below the year-earlier level.
The 11-month trade surplus was 255.95 billion U.S. dollars, up 6.9 percent year-on-year.
Customs officials said that because of the worsening financial crisis and ensuing global recession, China's foreign trade fell 9 percent last November year-on-year, the first monthly decline since October 2001.
During November, exports fell 2.2 percent, vs. growth of 19.1 percent in October, while imports slid 17.9 percent, vs. a rise of15.5 percent a month earlier.
The report predicted that as the financial crisis further affected the real economy and external demand shrank, China's exports would decline further.