Saturday, May 23, 2015   

March imports and exports tumble
(04-10 10:45)

China's trade volumes fell dramatically in March, official data show, despite the country returning to a trade surplus after recording a rare deficit the month before.
Imports slumped 11.3 percent year-on-year to US$162.4 billion while exports fell 6.6 percent to US$170.1 billion, the General Administration of Customs announced, resulting in a surplus of US$7.7 billion.
The figures confounded market expectations, which had been for growth of 4.2 percent in exports and 2.8 percent in imports, according to the median forecasts in a survey of 16 economists by Dow Jones Newswires.
The weak March numbers may raise further concerns about the health of China's economy, which has shown signs of weakness this year with a string of disappointing indicators, including on industrial production and consumer spending.
China last week announced a mini-stimulus to boost slowing growth, including extending tax breaks for small businesses and support measures for poor urban districts.
China recorded an unexpected trade deficit of US$22.98 billion in February, which authorities blamed on the lunar new year holiday season. That result was China's first monthly deficit in 11 months.—AFP

   
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