BEIJING (AP) — China's overseas trade slowed sharply in November, with growth in imports falling to zero despite other signs the world's second-largest economy is recovering from a slowdown.
Growth in exports declined to 2.9 percent over a year earlier from the previous month's 11.6 percent, customs data showed Monday. Import growth fell from October's 2.4 percent.
The figures were in line with warnings by analysts who said a trade rebound that began in August was unsustainable due to weak global demand amid Europe's debt problems and a slow U.S. recovery.
Figures released on the weekend showed that November factory output rose 10.1 percent and consumer spending increased 14.9 percent in a sign China is recovering from a slump that dragged growth to a three-and-a-half-year low in the quarter ended September.
Forecasters say economic growth likely is rebounding in the current quarter.
The weak trade figures are a setback for Chinese exporters that employ millions of workers and were battered by the slump in Western consumer demand.
The import weakness caused China's global trade surplus to widen 35 percent over a year earlier to $19.5 billion. But that was well below October's $32 billion, the biggest surplus in many years.