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China exports, imports in deeper contraction as tariffs take toll

By Reuters | October 14th 2019
A truck transports a container at a port in Qingdao, Shandong province, China on July 11, 2019. [Reuters]

A slide in China’s exports picked up pace in September while imports contracted for a fifth straight month, pointing to further weakness in the economy and underlining the need for more stimulus as the Sino-US trade war drags on.

Analysts say it could take time for Chinese exports to recover amid slowing global growth despite tentative signs of a thaw in tense trade relations between the world’s top two economies.

On Friday, US President Donald Trump outlined the first phase of a deal to end the trade war with China and suspended a threatened tariff hike set for October 15. But existing tariffs remain in place and officials on both sides said much more work needed to be done.

September exports fell 3.2 per cent from a year earlier, the biggest fall since February, customs data showed on Monday. Analysts had expected a 3 per cent decline in a Reuters poll after August’s 1 per cent drop.

“The headline figures suggest that global demand softened last month, adding to the pressure from the US tariffs that went into effect in September,” said analysts at Capital Economics.

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