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June 11, 2009 – 3:24PM

Chinese exports plunged sharply in May, posting the seventh straight monthly decline, customs authorities said, highlighting the continued impact of the global economic crisis.

The world’s third-largest economy posted exports worth 88.8 billion US dollars last month, a fall of 26.4 percent from the same month last year, the customs data showed.

Meanwhile, Chinese imports totalled 75.4 billion US dollars, a drop of 25.2 percent, officials said.

The trade surplus in May stood at 13.4 billion US dollars, according to the authorities, who did not provide a percentage change compared with the same month last year.

Despite the steep year-on-year decline, the figures represented an increase month-on-month, with exports up 0.2 percent from April, and imports up 4.4 percent.

China has been severely impacted by the global economic crisis, with traditional markets in North America and Europe taking fewer of its products.

Since the export sector is a big employer in China, the government has been forced to come up with solutions to ward off hard times.

Most startlingly, it unveiled a 580-billion-dollar fiscal package late last year, aimed at lifting the economy mainly through investment in large infrastructure projects.

http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-world/china-imports-exports-sharply-down-in-may-govt-20090611-c4kd.html

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