China became the world’s largest merchandise exporter in 2009, toppling Germany’s US$917 billion with a figure of US$957 billion in exports, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing data from Geneva-based consultancy Global Trade Information Services. The shift has been expected given China’s high annual export growth over the last decade and its relative resilience in the face of the financial crisis. During the downturn, China’s exports of consumers goods remained comparatively strong, while Germany’s high-end machinery and manufacturing equipment exports suffered the effects of a worldwide decline in investment spending. China’s currency ties to the dollar also allowed its exports to gain market share and benefit from the depreciating US currency.
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