China slowdown fears raised as imports and exports fall

China was hit by further evidence of a slowdown in growth as both its exports and imports unexpectedly fell in June.

The emerging market country’s level of exports fell by 3.1 per cent compared to June 2012, according to data from the General Admissions of Customs. The level of imports fell by less, just 0.7 per cent.

The trade data has heightened expectations of a slowdown in China’s growth in 2013 following a contraction in the country’s manufacturing sector in the past two months.

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A rise in China’s inflation in June, from 2.1 per cent to 2.7 per cent had raised expectations that the government would hold off from looser monetary policy, but the continued weak data might force its hand.