STORY: Chinese exports tumbled in May.
Figures out Wednesday (June 7) showed overseas shipments slumping 7.5% on the year.
That was many times the forecast fall of just 0.4%.
The numbers were worse even than when the port of Shanghai was closed due to lockdowns a year earlier.
Factory output has slowed as overseas demand weakens.
Consumers and businesses in the U.S. and Europe are being squeezed by rising inflation and interest rates.
Now the slowdown raises questions about the durability of China’s own recovery.
The world’s second-largest economy grew faster than expected in the first quarter.
It was helped by a recovery in services and a backlog of orders after years of disruption due to the global health crisis.
But other data has already indicated that the recovery could be sputtering.
Numbers from South Korea last week showed its exports to China down by more than a fifth, indicating demand was falling away.
One economist told Reuters the trade slowdown will ramp up pressure on Beijing to boost domestic demand.
Many now expect to see fresh stimulus measures.