China's export volume in July rose 38.1 percent from a year earlier, down from June’s 43.9 percent rate.
Imports expanded even more slowly, an indication that the country’s rapid economic expansion is cooling. Imports posted a year-to-year increase of 22.7 percent, down from June’s 34.1 percent rate.
China’s closely watched trade numbers are an indicator of the strength of the global economic recovery. The country’s economic growth slowed from 11.9 percent in the first quarter to 10.3 percent in the second quarter.
By The Numbers: U.S.Trade with Mainland China.
Weakness in China's demand for imports could affect other economies, including producers of raw materials that have benefited from China’s demand for commodities to fuel its development and exports.
In recent months Chinese officials have worked to cool the country’s rising real estate market. Some analysts also have said they expect the European debt crisis to slow sales to Europe, China’s largest export market.
So far that does not appear to have happened. Chinese exports to Europe rose 36.4 percent last month and China’s trade surplus with the European Union increased 56.3 percent. Exports to the United States increased 29.4 percent as the Chinese trade surplus with the U.S. rose 39.5 percent.
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