China Exports, Imports Fall More Than Expected In January
China’s January trade performance was worse than expected as tepid demand persisted both at home and abroad, raising expectations of further government measures to arrest the slowdown and to quell market jitters. January exports fell 11.2 percent from a year earlier – the seventh straight month of decline, while imports tumbled 18.8 percent – the 15th month of decline, both far worse than expected, data released by the General Administration of Customs showed on Monday. Exports declined even though China has allowed the yuan to weaken nearly 6 percent against the U.S. dollar since last August, underlining the extent to which global demand has weakened. Also, Soured loans at Chinese commercial banks rose to the highest level since June 2006 as the nation’s economic expansion slowed to the weakest pace in a quarter century. Nonperforming loans rose 7 percent from September to 1.27 trillion yuan ($196 billion) by December, the slowest quarterly increase in two years, data from the China Banking Regulatory Commission showed Monday.