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Chinese Exports Plunge in January


China suffered its worst decline in exports in more than a decade last month, underscoring the toll the global recession is taking on the world's third-largest economy.

China's customs agency released a report Wednesday showing the nation's exports in January plunged more than 17 percent from the year before. Last month's decline was also far worse than the nearly three percent drop reported in December.

The drop in exports is due to falling global demand for Chinese products in the face of the current economic downturn. Scores of export-dependent factories have shut down, leaving an estimated 20 million migrant workers without jobs.

Imports were even worse last month, falling more than 43 percent than a year earlier. The weakening import figures boosted China's global trade surplus to $39 billion in January, the second biggest month on record.

Beijing unveiled a $586 billion stimulus package late last year, focused mainly on the construction of public works projects to create more jobs.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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