Chinese imports grew at the slowest pace in 20 months in June, government data showed today, providing further evidence of the broad effect of monetary tightening on the economy.
The slowing rate of imports in June, which dropped to a 19.3 percent annual pace from 28.4 percent in May, is expected to heighten investors’ concerns about how swiftly the Chinese economy, the world’s second-largest after that of the United States, is slowing.
But coming a day after data showed that inflation in June had reached a three-year peak of 6.4 percent, analysts took the data showing a jump in the trade surplus as a sign that the Chinese central bank might have to raise interest rates further, to rein in prices and to discourage capital inflows.
Exports reached a record of $162 billion in June, while imports for the month were $139.7 billion. That left the country with a trade surplus of $22.3 billion in June, compared with $13.1 billion in May.