11 Sep 2012

China trade data down

7:33 am on 11 September 2012

China's exports grew less than forecast and imports fell in August, adding to fears about a sharp slowdown in its economy.

Exports rose by 2.7% from a year earlier as global demand continued to remain subdued.

Imports fell 2.6% from a year ago, indicating a decline in domestic consumption.

China has been trying to boost domestic demand in a bid to rebalance its growth and offset slowing demand for exports.

RBS chief China economist Louis Kuijs of Hong Kong told the BBC that China's growth target of 7.5% for 2012 will be met, but he does not think that growth will quickly pick up again.

Beijing also said on Sunday that industrial production grew at its slowest pace in more than three years in August.

Data issued by the National Bureau of Statistics showed output rose by 8.9% from a year earlier.

Last week, Beijing approved infrastructure projects worth more than $US150 billion.

The BBC reports China has already cut interest rates twice since June this year, to bring down the cost of borrowing for consumers and businesses.

It has also lowered the reserve ratio requirement for banks three times in the past few months.