(Reuters) China has warned of a "grim" outlook for trade as the world's second-largest economy surprised financial markets by reporting a fall in exports and imports when both had been expected to rise.
The figures, which follow a government crackdown on the use of fake invoicing that had exaggerated exports earlier this year, are likely to raise fresh concerns about the extent of the slowdown in the economy and global demand. The June data, showing that exports fell 3.1% from a year earlier and imports dropped 0.7%, may now reflect the true trade picture, customs officials said.
"China faces relatively stern challenges in trade currently," customs spokesman Zheng Yuesheng told a news briefing on the June trade figures. "Exports in the third quarter look grim."
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