China’s exports shrank much faster than expected in May and imports fell, albeit at a slower pace, as manufacturers struggled to find demand abroad and domestic consumption remained sluggish.
Exports from the world’s second-largest economy fell 7.5% year-on-year in May, the biggest decline since January and swinging from 8.5% growth in April. Imports contracted 4.5%, a slower pace of decline than the 7.9% in the previous month.
The figures compared with a Reuters poll that showed economists forecast a much smaller 0.4% decline in exports and an 8.0% fall in imports.
The poor export performance reflects weak demand for Chinese goods as does the weak import performance as China brings in parts and materials from abroad to assemble finished products for export.