08/10/2012, 00.00
CHINA

Chinese exports and imports slow down

Exports grew in July by only 1 per cent (against June's 13 per cent), the lowest since 2009. Imports rose 4.7 (a month earlier it was 6.3). Industrial output declines. Inflation drops because of lower pork and poultry prices.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The rate of growth of China's exports and imports dropped in July, a sign that the economy of the Asian juggernaut is cooling in response to a weakening global economy.

In July, exports increased only 1 per cent from a year earlier, far below the 11.3 per cent of June. Imports rose 4.7 per cent against 6.3 in June.

Both figures indicate a serious deterioration in global demand for Chinese goods, the worst since 2009, with domestic consumers unable to pick up the slack.

China's sales to European Union countries fell 16.2 per cent last month and growth in U.S. exports slowed to 0.6 per cent from 10.6 per cent in June, customs data showed.

Industrial output growth unexpectedly slowed last month to 9.2 per cent from a year earlier, less than June's 9.3 per cent.

One positive aspect is inflation, which rose only 1.8 per cent last month compared to 2.2 in June and 3 per cent in May.

Lower inflation is due to a drop in the price of pork (-18.7 per cent) and poultry (-6.1 per cent).

To stimulate the economy, China's central bank twice cut interest rates and lowered the required reserves banks must hold in order to boost lending.

Many businesses hope the government will launch a new aid package like the one introduced at the start of the crisis in 2008.

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