China exports fall for a third month

Chinese factory

Exports in China fell for the third month in May, while imports declined for the seventh month

Exports in the world’s second largest economy, China, fell for a third consecutive month in May, highlighting slowing demand in the country.

Exports fell 2.5% from a year ago in dollar denominated terms, and 2.8% in yuan denominated figures.

Both figures were above expectations, but the slide in imports has sparked worries on the domestic end.

Imports tumbled 17.6% in dollar terms, while yuan-denominated imports plunged 18.1% – falling for the seventh month.

Zhu Haibin, economist at JP Morgan said Monday’s data shows that the economy will struggle to meet the government’s trade growth target even with the export rise.

“Imports are still much weaker than expected. Exports are doing fine, even though we are still talking about a year-on-year decline, but in terms of momentum they’ve rebounded a bit after the collapse in March,” he told Reuters.

“This year the government set up the target of trade growth at 6%, which at this moment, is still impossible to achieve, particularly with the weak imports.”

Domestic demand in China continues to be weak despite stimulus measures by the government and central bank to boost growth.

The central bank had lowered interest rates just last month, which was the third time in six months to spur lending and economic activity.

The drop in imports led China’s trade surplus to $59.5bn in May, up nearly 75% from April.

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