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China economy shows more weakness as imports, exports fall

imports, exports fall.

Beijing: Chinese imports fell for a seventh straight month in May while exports also sank, data showed today, as the world’s second biggest economy shows protracted weakness in the face of government easing measures.

The disappointing figures also come as leaders try to transform the economy from one where growth is driven by consumer spending rather than government investment and exports.

Imports slumped 17.6 per cent year on year to USD 131.26 billion, the General Administration of Customs said in a statement.

The decline was much sharper than the median forecast of a 10 per cent fall in a Bloomberg News poll of economists and followed April’s 16.2 per cent drop.

“Import growth disappointed the market with a fall even larger than that in April, suggesting domestic demand remained weak,” Nomura economist Zhao Yang said in a research note.

Exports dropped for the third consecutive month, falling 2.5 per cent to USD 190.75 billion, Customs said, although that was better than the median estimate of a four per cent fall in the Bloomberg survey.

The sharp decrease in imports meant the trade surplus expanded 65.6 per cent year on year to USD 59.49 billion, according to the data.

In yuan terms imports fell 18.1 per cent, exports decreased 2.8 per cent and the trade surplus expanded 65.0 per cent.

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