A ministry of commerce official Wednesday said weak demand would further hurt Chinese exports, setting a gloomy tone for the remainder of the year, The Wall Street Journal reported. Exports are “continuing on a downward trend,” ministry spokesman Shen Danyang said at a routine news briefing. He cited weak EU and global economies and rising export costs as major factors in the slowdown. The ministry also reported waning FDI figures for August. Year-on-year direct investment from abroad fell to US$7.58 billion from US$8.33 billion. Japanese FDI grew by 17%, a notable figure compared to investment from the EU and US, which climbed by 4.1% and 2.9%, respectively. China pledged to accelerate tax rebates and promote export and import growth last week following the release of another set of disappointing economic data. The ministry will release more information on the measures in October, Shen Danyang said.