BEIJING -- China reported weak trade activity in August, raising pressure on the central government to stimulate its slowing economy as the country ambles toward a once-in-a-decade leadership transition.
Imports fell 2.6% from a year earlier after growing 4.6% in July, underlining China's softening demand for commodities and raw materials. Exports grew 2.7% from a year ago, up slightly from 1% growth in July.
The weak import and export data announced Monday comes a day after China said industrial production had expanded at its weakest pace in three years. China also said Sunday that inflation had risen 2% from a year ago, up from 1.8% growth in July.
Worsening inflation will make it harder for policymakers to stimulate the world's second-largest economy, which grew 7.6% in the second quarter, its slowest rate since the 2008 financial crisis.