China’s exports have taken a sudden, unexpected hit from the global economic crisis, possibly an early indication that the world’s fourth-largest economy is on the verge of crisis. Exports, expected to rise at least 15%, shrunk instead by 2.2%, marking the first such fall in 7 years for the Asian giant, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Imports were also off sharply, down 18% as manufacturers dug into stockpiles of raw materials rather than buy more. “Global demand for Chinese products is vanishing,” one economist says. “Secondly, the credit freeze in importing countries has made it hard for Chinese exporters to sell abroad.”