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Update: China imports fall slows in May

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China's imports decreased at their slowest pace in more than a year-and-a-half in May, official data showed Wednesday, in a possible sign domestic demand in the world's second-largest economy may be recovering.

[BEIJING] China's imports decreased at their slowest pace in more than a year-and-a-half in May, official data showed Wednesday, in a possible sign domestic demand in the world's second-largest economy may be recovering.

The country is a key driver of world growth and its demand for commodities has enormous implications for resource-rich nations from Australia to Nigeria.

China's imports have been shrinking since late 2014 as the country's once blistering expansion lost steam, slowed down by manufacturing overcapacity, a slowing property market and mounting debt.

But the year-on-year drop of 0.4 per cent in May imports - the 19th straight down month - marked the slowest rate of decline since October 2014, when they grew 4.6 per cent, customs data showed.

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The results were also well ahead of the Bloomberg News median forecast of a 6.8 per cent decrease based on a poll of economists.

The value for May imports stood at US$131.1 billion, according the Chinese customs office.

However, exports fell 4.1 per cent last month from a year ago to US$181.1 billion, following a 1.8 per cent decline in April and leaving a trade surplus of just under US$50 billion, the figures showed.

AFP

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