China trade growth plunges

Aug 09, 2012, 11:52 PM EDT
A worker walks through Shanghai Container Port in Baoshan district of Shanghai on July 10, 2012. China's trade surplus expanded in June as demand for imports fell more sharply than expected, stoking concerns about a slowdown in the world's second-biggest economy, official data showed.
AFP/Getty Images

BEIJING (AP) — China's July trade growth suffered an unexpectedly sharp decline in a new sign of weakness for the world economy.

Customs data on Friday showed exports rose just 1 percent over a year earlier, down from June's 11.3 percent growth rate and below forecasts of about 5 percent. Imports rose 4.7 percent, down from the previous month's 6.3 percent.

The data reinforce indications the economy is still weak despite repeated government stimulus efforts.

China's trade growth has fallen steadily this year as global demand for its exports cooled and efforts to boost domestic consumption have had only a limited impact.