A group of women walks past a poster outside a mall in Beijing on August 8,2016. / AFP / WANG ZHAO
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China's economy, the world's second largest, struggled in July with a worse-than-expected trade performance as imports plunged 12.5 percent year-on-year, Customs said Monday.Exports also fell in U.S. dollar terms, dropping 4.4 percent to $184.7 billion -- compared with expectations of a 3.5 percent decline.In the first seven months of the year, total trade volume with the EU -- China's biggest trading partner -- rose 1.8 percent, Customs said in a statement.It exported 10.3 million tonnes of steel in July, Customs said, up 5.86 percent year-on-year but down 5.85 percent on June.The world's number two economy grew 6.7 percent in the second quarter of this year, the same as the first quarter, slowing from all of last year.The economy expanded 6.9 percent in 2015 -- its weakest in a quarter of a century -- and the government has targeted growth in a range of 6.5-7.0 percent for this year.
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