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China imports fall in sign of battered domestic demand

[BEIJING] China's imports fell 16 per cent in October from a year ago to 833.14 billion yuan (S$186.4 billion), official data showed Sunday, underlining battered domestic demand in the world's second-largest economy where downward pressures on economic growth persist.

A key driver of world growth and the planet's biggest trader in goods, the slowdown in China's economic expansion has sent jitters across global stock markets and taken a great toll on resource-rich countries for whom the Asian country is a crucial client.

Exports, too, continued their losing streak from July, dropping by 3.6 per cent year-on-year in October to US$1.23 trillion as foreign demand languished, according to figures from the General Administration of Customs.

The October trade balance rose 40.2 per cent to 393.22 billion yuan, driven by the continued drop in imports, the data showed, suggesting that the Asian giant continues to struggle with improving domestic demand.

The decrease in exports was larger than a median forecast of a 3.2 per cent decline in a Bloomberg News survey of economists.

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