China’s Imports Decelerate Sharply, While Its Trade Surplus Widens To $16.5 Billion

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BEIJING (AP) — China’s import growth decelerated sharply in December in a new sign the world’s second-largest economy is slowing.

The customs agency said Tuesday that December imports rose 11.8 per cent over a year ago, down from November’s 22.1 per cent gain. Exports rose 13.4 per cent, down only marginally from the previous month’s rate.

The country’s politically sensitive global trade surplus widened to $16.5 billion.

Weaker Chinese demand for imports reflects a slowdown in rapid domestic economic growth after Beijing tightened lending and investment curbs to prevent overheating. A slump in global demand for Chinese goods has prompted the government to reverse course and promise measures to shore up growth.