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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

China's exports rise 7 per cent, imports slip 1.6 per cent amid prospects of slowdown

BEIJING, China - China says its export growth accelerated in May but imports dipped in a mixed sign for the world's second-biggest economy.

Data released by the General Administration of Customs on Sunday showed exports rose 7 per cent in dollar terms, up from a 0.9 per cent increase in April and rather large slump in February and March.

Imports declined 1.6 per cent in May after inching up 0.8 per cent in April.

Private sector analysts say the Chinese economy will likely slow down as the impact of mini-stimulus efforts fade. Economic growth eased to 7.4 per cent in the first quarter from the previous quarter's 7.5 per cent.

Stronger global demand for Chinese goods could help offset domestic weakness, reducing concern about politically volatile job losses in export-driven manufacturing.

Communist leaders are trying to reduce reliance on trade and investment by encouraging domestic consumption. But their plans are based on a forecast of 7.5 per cent growth in total trade, while exports have shrunk 0.4 per cent for the first five months of the year and imports are up 0.8 per cent.

Exports for the month of May came to $195.47 billion while imports totalled $159.55 billion, giving China a trade surplus of $35.9 billion.

The surplus with the United States was $21.2 billion while that with the 27-nation European Union was $9.3 billion.

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