Earlier today, China's trade balance data was released, showing that the Chinese economy's trade surplus expanded significantly since May, rising to $60.24 billion, from $43.03 billion in July and above the market estimates of $49.35. The trade surplus comes in light of declining exports but also a sharper import slump. The drop in exports marks a second consecutive monthly decline with financial markets trading cautiously on the data. On an annualized basis, Chinese imports fell 13.80% in August which marks the 10th consecutive month of deteriorating imports.While it is widely expected that China will experience a significant downturn in economic activity this year, the markets are more concerned by the pace of this deceleration which could result in a ‘hard landing’ for the Chinese economy. Being the second largest economy, a Chinese slowdown could result in further deterioration of the global economy as the US prepares to raise interest rates.