Asia

China's imports, exports fall again in July

  • A cargo truck drives past a container ship at a port in Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. China's exports fell again in July by an unexpectedly wide margin while a decline in imports accelerated in a possible sign of weakness in the world's second-largest economy. (Chinatopix via AP)

    A cargo truck drives past a container ship at a port in Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. China's exports fell again in July by an unexpectedly wide margin while a decline in imports accelerated in a possible sign of weakness in the world's second-largest economy. (Chinatopix via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Container ships are docked at a port in Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. China's exports fell again in July by an unexpectedly wide margin while a decline in imports accelerated in a possible sign of weakness in the world's second-largest economy. (Chinatopix via AP)

    Container ships are docked at a port in Qingdao in eastern China's Shandong province Monday, Aug. 8, 2016. China's exports fell again in July by an unexpectedly wide margin while a decline in imports accelerated in a possible sign of weakness in the world's second-largest economy. (Chinatopix via AP)  (The Associated Press)

China's exports fell again in July compared with a year earlier while a decline in imports accelerated.

Customs data Monday showed exports contracted 4.4 percent to $184.7 billion, a slight improvement over June's 4.8 percent contraction. Imports fell 12.5 percent to $132.4 billion, accelerating from a decline of 8.4 percent.

Weak global demand has hampered efforts to shore up Chinese trade and stave off job losses in export industries. The contraction in imports reflects possible weakness in the domestic economy, but overall figures also are depressed by a decline in prices of oil and other commodities.

Chinese economic growth held steady at 6.7 percent in the quarter ending in June compared with a year earlier, though that was the lowest quarterly level since the aftermath of the 2008 global crisis.