China trade falters as global demand wanes

STORY: Trade numbers raised fresh worries for China’s economy on Wednesday (September 6).

Exports and imports both lost momentum in August.

They took a hit as soaring inflation hit overseas demand, while fresh lockdowns and heatwaves disrupted production at home.

Exports rose 7.1% from a year earlier - a big tumble from the 18% gain in July, and way below analyst forecasts.

Imports eked out a gain of just 0.3% - also well below forecasts.

The disappointing numbers rattled global markets, and sent China’s yuan currency sharply lower.

Economists say it all adds to signs of waning global demand.

Falling prices for sea freight had already pointed to a slowdown in shipments to Europe and the U.S.

Cars were one of the few bright spots in August.

Auto exports were up by almost a half on the year, boosted by demand for new energy vehicles.

Even so, Chinese policymakers face mounting pressure to shore up the country’s flagging economy.

Earlier this week, Beijing signalled that it was ready to take action, with data all pointing to a drop in growth momentum.