China’s exports drop more than expected, signaling nagging headwinds

China’s exports fell by more than expected in October, pointing to continued economic headwinds and shrinking global appetite for the country’s goods.

Exports, a key driver of the world’s second-largest economy, dropped 6.4% in October compared with the same period a year earlier, the General Administration of Customs said Tuesday. In September, exports had declined 6.2% on the year.

October’s reading compared with the 3.5% fall expected by economists in a Wall Street Journal poll.

Imports rose 3.0% on the year in October. That compared with a 6.2% fall in September, and ended a seven-month run of contraction. The data suggest that Beijing’s stimulus measures may have started to revive domestic demand.

The economists in the WSJ survey had anticipated that imports would slide 4.8% last month.

China’s October trade surplus came in at $56.53 billion, narrower than both the $77.71 billion surplus recorded in September and expectations for a $82.33 billion surplus.

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