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Chinese exports plunged in February

March 11, 2009 at 5:51 PM

BEIJING, March 11 (UPI) -- China said that its exports plunged in February, falling 25.7 percent as the global recession cut sharply into consumer spending.

Chinese exports have decreased for four consecutive months. Compared with other Asian export-dependent economies, however, China's decreases had been mild until February, the Financial Times said Wednesday.

"Weakness in final demand has fed along the Asian supply chain and is only now having its full impact on China," said Mark Williams at Capital Economics.

Adjusting for holidays, the actual decline in February's exports was about 40 percent, Williams said.

China's trade balance has shifted dramatically from a $39.1 billion surplus in January to a $4.84 billion surplus in February.

Imports fell 43 percent in January and 24 percent in February, the Times said.

Economist Andy Rothman at CLSA in Shanghai said he expected stimulus spending in China to escalate. "We expect this program to gain economic traction in March or April when project offices will have been established," he said.

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