China's imports shrink in February in new sign of economic weakness

China's imports sank again in February in a new sign of weakness in the world's second-largest economy.

Customs data on Sunday showed imports shrank 20.5 percent compared with a year earlier. Combined with January's 19.9 percent decline, that brought the contraction in imports so far this year to 20.2 percent.

China's appetite for imports has ebbed as economic growth declined, hitting a two-decade low of 7.4 percent last year.

Exports surged 48.3 percent, rebounding from January's 3.3 percent growth.

On Saturday, Trade Minister Gao Hucheng said February exports would be weak but he expressed confidence the country can meet the government's goal of 6 percent growth this year in total imports and exports.