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China imports in August down for 2nd straight month

[BEIJING] China's imports unexpectedly fell for the second consecutive month in August, posting its worst performance in over a year and stoking speculation about whether authorities should loosen policy further to revive domestic demand.

Imports by the world's second-biggest economy fell 2.4 per cent in August compared with a year ago, the General Administration of Customs said on Monday, missing a Reuters estimate for a 1.7 per cent rise.

It was the second straight month that China's import growth was surprisingly weak, raising concerns that tepid domestic demand, exacerbated by a cooling housing market, is increasingly weighing on the economy.

In contrast, China's exports were surprisingly buoyant...

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