BEIJING (AP) — China's export growth accelerated in July but imports sagged in a possible sign of weakness in the world's second-largest economy.
Exports jumped 14.1 percent from a year earlier, almost double June's 7.2 percent growth, customs data showed Friday. Imports fell 2.1 percent, down from the previous month's 5.5 percent expansion.
Chinese leaders are counting on exports to help support employment while they try to nurture growth based on domestic consumption. Their plans call for 7.5 percent trade growth this year, but for the first seven months total imports and exports are up only 0.2 percent from the same period of 2013.
Weakness in global demand for Chinese goods prompted the communist government to earlier launch mini-stimulus to prop up growth.
Economic growth edged up slightly to 7.5 percent over a year earlier in the three months ending in June from the previous quarter's 7.4 percent.
The decline in July imports exceeded analyst forecasts and was a sign domestic economic activity might be weakening. So far this year, imports are down 0.8 percent compared with the same period last year.
General Administration of Customs of China (in Chinese): www.customs.gov.cn