9 Sep 2015

China import plunge worse than expected

11:26 am on 9 September 2015

Trade news out of New Zealand's second biggest export market, China, remains on the grim side, underlining the concerns about the outlook for the world's second biggest economy.

An investor looks at prices of shares (red for price rising and green for price falling) at a stock brokerage house in Huaibei city, Anhui province, China, 27 July 2015.

Financial market jitters are likely to continue ahead of further Chinese economic indicators due this week. Photo: AFP

China's US dollar-denominated exports fell 5.5 percent in the year to August, roughly in line with predictions, but imports plunged 14 percent, far worse than expected.

August is generally a flat month and included one-off factors such as the massive explosion at the port of Tianjin, which also clouded the picture.

Even so, analysts say the numbers offer little optimism about a pick up in China in the near future and on whether it will be able to reach its 7 percent annual economic growth target.

Financial markets are likely to remain nervous ahead of a raft of Chinese economic indicators due this week, including inflation, retail sales and industrial production.

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