A sharp fall in imports has sparked concerns about whether China's effort to transition to a domestic-demand-driven economy is working, but analysts told CNBC it's just a matter of time.
"I think [the authorities] are committed to changing the composition of the economy," said Chong Yoon-Chou, investment director at Aberdeen Asset Management. "The key thing is this kind of transition does take time, [and it] takes a bit of pain."
China's imports fell 1.6 percent on year in May, below expectations for a 6.1 percent rise. Exports rose 7 percent, above expectations for a 6.6 percent rise, while the trade surplus widened sharply to $35.9 billion from April's $18.5 billion, the General Administration of Customs said on Sunday.
After years of double-digit growth authorities recently signaled their intention to shift the economy from investment-driven growth to domestic-demand-driven growth amid concerns about excess credit in the system.
But many are worried; if the transition is not managed well the economy could slow too quickly prompting a hard landing. However, Chong noted investors had to be prepared for some slowing on the domestic front.
"It's a J-curve sort of thing and we're still in that turning point," he said.
China's annual economic growth eased to 7.4 percent in the first quarter from 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter, leading many industry watchers to downgrade their 2014 growth expectations.