BEIJING: China's exports and imports grew more slowly more than expected in July, raising concerns over whether global demand is starting to cool even as major Western central banks consider scaling back their massive stimulus programmes.
China and Europe have been driving an increasing share of global growth this year as political conflict stymies stimulus policies being pushed by U.S. President Donald Trump.
But China's export growth slowed to 7.2 percent in July from a year earlier, the weakest pace since February and cooling from an 11.3 percent rise in June, official data showed on Tuesday. Analysts had expected a 10.9 percent gain.
Imports rose 11.0 percent, the slowest growth since December and down from a 17.2 percent rise in the previous month. That also missed expectations of 16.6 percent growth.
That left the country with a trade surplus of $46.74 billion for the month, the highest since January, compared with forecasts for $46.08 billion and above June's $42.77 billion.
The July trade figures are preliminary, with revised data due on July 23.