Global fears as China's imports drop by 20pc
China's exports fell less than expected in September, with monthly figures showing recovery, but a sharper fall in imports left economists divided over whether the country's ailing trade sector is showing signs of turning around.
On the surface, the trade data yesterday reinforced views that the world's second-largest economy is still slowly losing momentum, putting more pressure on Beijing to roll out further stimulus measures and keeping global markets on edge. But the numbers did not suggest a greater risk of a hard landing, either, as some investors have feared.
Exports fell 3.7pc from the same period last year, less than a 6.3pc drop forecast by economists and moderating from a 5.5pc decline in August.
However, imports by value tumbled for the 11th straight month, losing over 20pc year-on-year in September due to weak commodity prices and soft domestic demand, which will continue to complicate Beijing's efforts to stave off deflation.
Economists had expected a 15pc drop, after a 13.8pc decline in the previous month.
Highlighting persistent weakness in demand at home and abroad, China's combined exports and imports fell 8.1pc in the first nine months of the year from the same period in 2014, well below the full-year official target of 6pc growth. (Reuters)