China's exports grew just one percent in July compared to the same period a year earlier, the latest sign of continued stagnation within the global economy.
The figures released Friday by China's customs bureau were far below the 11.3 percent rate posted in June, and well short of many economists' forecasts. Imports in July were also weak, rising just 4.7 percent from a year earlier compared to the 6.3 percent mark posted in June. Economists had forecast an increase of at least 7 percent.
China's trade surplus in July was $25.1 billion, down from $31.5 billion a year earlier. Beijing has set a goal of 10 percent growth in total trade this year.
These trade figures may prompt Chinese leaders to take more aggressive actions to stimulate the economy growth. The government has already cut interest rates twice this year and begun spending on a number of public works projects.