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China exports fell more than a quarter in February

China's export numbers fell sharply in February. Falling global demand combined with a business shutdown during the New Year holidays depressed sales.

China's exports plunged 25.4 percent to $126.1 billion (115 billion euros) year-on-year in February, as the country's struggling manufacturing sector continued to drag down the world's second-largest economy.

The fall was sharper than economists had forecast. Chinese firms have been battered now for eight months by weak demand from major world markets.

Data released on Tuesday also showed that imports were down 13.8 percent to $93.6 billion (85 billion euros). It is the 16th consecutive month of falls for imports.

End of the Chinese Dream?

The European Union was China's top trade partner in the period while the US was its second-biggest market. However, exports to both regions fell by almost 11 percent. China's trade surplus was measured at $32.6 billion (29.5 billion euros), marking a fall of 46.2 percent year-on-year according to previous data.

Authorities in China have pledged further

fiscal measures

to boost the flagging economy admitting there were

"problems and challenges"

to face, as growth in the country has slowed down to a

25-year low

.

Watch video 01:39

China’s economy set for moderate growth

ss/jm (AP, AFP, dpa)

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