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China's exports grew just one percent on-year in May, slowing sharply from the previous month as sluggish overseas demand hit the country's exporters, customs authorities said Saturday.
The exports growth to $182.8 billion is far lower than 14.7 percent recorded in April and below a medium forecast of 5.6 percent expansion in a Dow Jones Newswires' poll of economists.
Imports dropped 0.3 percent to $162.3 billion, customs said in a statement, down from a rise of 16.8 percent in April and below the economists' median forecast of a five percent increase.
China's trade surplus stood at $20.4billion last month, it said, widening from $18.2 billion in the previous month.
The disappointing trade performance last month was due to "a slowdown in the domestic economy, sluggish foreign demand, companies' high costs, the appreciation in the yuan's real value and a worsening trade environment", customs said.