China's trade dropped sharply in October, adding weight to fears that the world's second largest economy is slowing more quickly than previously thought.
The General Administration of Customs said today that October exports fell 6.9 per cent from a year ago, dropping for a fourth month, after a 3.7 per cent dip a month earlier.
Meamwhile imports slipped 18.8 per cent, compared to a 20.4 per cent decline in September. This left the country with a record high trade surplus of $61.64 billion (£40.93bn).
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast a three per cent fall for dollar-denominated exports, and a 16 per cent decline for imports.
Combined exports and imports fell 8.5 per cent in the first 10 months of the year from the same period a year earlier, well below the full-year official target for growth of 6 per cent.
China's exports have suffered amid weaker than expected global demand, while its imports have been hit by weak domestic demand as a result of the country's own economic headwinds. Official figures released last month showed that China's third quarter growth was its weakest since 2009.
"We see that the trade will unlikely turn around the momentum in the near term, and the renminbi exchange rate will be under downward pressure especially as Fed signals to hike soon," Commerzbank China economist, Zhou Hao, said.