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China's exports and imports dip raising growth concerns


 BBCChina's exports fell in January, the first decline in more than two years, raising fresh concerns about the impact of a global slowdown on its economy. Exports dipped 0.5% from a year earlier hurt by sluggish demand and factories being shut during the Lunar New Year. Imports fell by 15.3%, resulting in a trade surplus of $27.3bn, which was a six-month high.

The fall in imports comes as China has been trying to boost domestic demand in an attempt to offset slowing exports. The export sector has been key to China's economic growth in the past few years as global firms have turned to Beijing to take advantage of its low-cost manufacturing. However, a slowdown in the US and the Eurozone, which are two of the biggest markets for Chinese goods, has seen the pace of growth of shipments slow in recent months. The debt crisis in the Eurozone and high rate of unemployment in the US have hurt consumer confidence and dented demand for Chinese goods. Official figures on Friday showed that bilateral trade between China and the European Union fell more than 7% in January. Analysts said the continuing debt issues in the Eurozone were the biggest threat to China's growth.

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