Mixed picture shows country’s exports surged in March, with $32bn trade surplus

Chinese imports slumped in March, driven by a slowdown in US trade amid the tense standoff over trade between Washington and Beijing, raising renewed questions over the strength of the Chinese economy.

Imports fell by 7.6% in March compared to a year earlier, worse than City economists’ forecasts for the volume of goods bought from abroad to grow by 0.2%. It also comes after Chinese imports slid by 5.2% in February, suggesting there has been a sustained decline in domestic demand.

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