China’s exports and imports fell more than expected in July in a rocky start to the third quarter, suggesting global demand remains weak in the aftermath of Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
Exports fell 4.4% from a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs said on Monday, while adding that it expects pressure on exports is likely to ease at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
Imports fell 12.5% from a year earlier, the biggest decline since February, suggesting domestic demand remains sluggish despite a flurry of measures to stimulate growth.
That resulted in a trade surplus of $52.31 billion in July, versus a $47.6 billion forecast and June’s $48.11 billion.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected trade to remain weak but show some signs of moderating.
July exports had been expected to fall 3%, compared with a 4.8% decline in June, while imports were seen falling 7%, following June’s drop of 8.4%.
China’s exports underwhelmed despite still-strong shipments of steel and oil products. China has come under fire from major trading partners accusing the country of dumping its excess industrial capacity in global markets.