Chinese exports plunged 21% in February from a year earlier, according to Chinese government data released Friday. It has been the weakest monthly performance since February 2016 and far worse than economists had predicted.
US $ 250 trillion of Chinese products are taking a toll.
"US tariffs have become more meaningful drag on exports," Julian Evans-Pritchard, a China economist at research firm Capital Economics, said in a note to clients.
But the trade was which China and the United States are trying to resolve through negotiations, is only part of the problem. The slump in Chinese exports provides "further evidence that global demand is cooling," according to Evans-Pritchard.
If the two governments "finalize a trade deal soon, the outlook for exports remains gloomy," he said.
The tough situation is likely to continue in the coming months as demand softens in major markets such as Europe.
The International Monetary Fund expects global economic growth to decline this year. And the European Central Bank on Thursday announced a warning that it was "getting rid of the economic slowdown."
"The ongoing trade tensions between the United States and China have already prompted some corporates to hedge against search risk," Raymond Yeung, an economist at investment bank ANZ, wrote in a client note.
"Both sides agree that there has been a great deal of progress that happens, "he said. "We're not there yet." But we're closer than we've been for a very long time. "
Chinese economy under pressure
The grim export numbers are down on China's economy.
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