Chinese exports and imports have contracted in August in the latest sign of weakness for the world's second-biggest economy.

Customs data posted online Tuesday showed that shipments of goods last month shrank 6.1 percent in yuan terms compared with a year earlier.

Imports tumbled by 14.3 percent for the month.

The trade data will add further pressure on China's communist leaders as they try to keep the economy from slowing too fast and shedding too many jobs.

The latest numbers come after a larger-than-expected 8.3 percent decline in July exports and a slew of other recent downbeat economic data.

Policymakers in Beijing have cut interest rates five times since November in a bid to shore up economic growth.