Chinese imports and exports experienced another challenging month in July 2016, with performance taking a bigger hit than had been anticipated.
Although overseas shipments rose by 2.9 per cent in yuan terms compared to July 2015, this represented a 4.4 per cent drop in terms of US dollars, while imports fell by 5.7 per cent in yuan and 12.5 per cent in US currency terms.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast declines of 3.0 per cent and 7.0 per cent in these two metrics, respectively. The weaker-than-expected performance means the country's trade surplus widened to $52.3 billion (€47.22 billion) for the month.
This comes after figures for last year showed that China's economy saw its weakest performance in 25 years in 2015, with improving levels of consumer activity failing to offset a slowdown across numerous traditional economic drivers.
Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said: "The country's export growth is likely to remain subdued for some time. While we think the worst is probably over for many emerging markets, global growth is likely to remain lackluster well into next year."