By Jonathan Davies

China saw exports fall for a third consecutive month in May, sparking increased concerns over the state of the economy.

In terms of the US dollar, exports were down 2.5% but 2.8% in yuan. Both figures were above market expectations.

The world's second largest economy has been one of the fastest growing for decades. But China has seen growth slow to its weakest pace for 25 years.

Imports also suffered. There was a 17.6% drop in dollar and 18.1% in yuan. It was the seventh month in a row that imports have fallen.

Speaking to Reuters, Zhu Haibin, economist at JP Morgan said: "Imports are still much weaker than expected. Exports are doing fine, even though we are still talking about a year-on-year decline, but in terms of momentum they've rebounded a bit after the collapse in March.

"This year the government set up the target of trade growth at 6%, which at this moment, is still impossible to achieve, particularly with the weak imports."