China's imports shrink in February in new sign of economic weakness

BEIJING, China – China’s imports sank again in February in a new sign of weakness in the world’s second-largest economy.

Customs data on Sunday showed imports shrank 20.5 per cent compared with a year earlier. Combined with January’s 19.9 per cent decline, that brought the contraction in imports so far this year to 20.2 per cent.

China’s appetite for imports has ebbed as economic growth declined, hitting a two-decade low of 7.4 per cent last year.

Exports surged 48.3 per cent, rebounding from January’s 3.3 per cent growth.

On Saturday, Trade Minister Gao Hucheng said February exports would be weak but he expressed confidence the country can meet the government’s goal of 6 per cent growth this year in total imports and exports.