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China trade shrinks again in latest sign of economic slide

Published:Tuesday | June 9, 2015 | 6:00 AM

Chinese imports and exports shrank again in May, the latest sign of sputtering growth in the world's second biggest economy that adds to pressure on Beijing to avoid a sharp slump.

Customs data released Monday showed that exports contracted 2.8 per cent from a year earlier to US$1.17 trillion yuan (US$189 billion).

Imports shrank 18.1 per cent to US$803.3 billion yuan (US$129 billion). For the first five months of the year, total imports and exports fell 7.8 per cent.

In dollar-denominated terms, exports shrank 2.5 per cent while imports tumbled 17.6 per cent, leaving a trade surplus of US$59.49 billion, according to the customs data.

China's leaders are trying to steer the economy towards growth based on domestic spending and reduce its reliance on trade and investment.

The economy expanded seven per cent in the first quarter, the slowest quarterly growth since the global financial crisis in 2008.

- AP