China's imports, exports fall again in July

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.