BEIJING - China's exports rose 38.1 percent year on year to $145.52 billion in July, but the growth rate was down from a 43.9-percent surge in June, the General Administration of Customs said Tuesday.
Imports increased 22.7 percent from a year earlier to $116.79 billion. The pace of growth was slower than June's 34.1-percent increase.
China's exports growth would continue to slow in line with an expected slowdown in economic growth in the United States and European Union from the third quarter, said Wang Tao, economist with the UBS Securities.
Wang said growth in exports would continue to outpace that of imports for the rest of the year and she expected the annual trade surplus to hit $185 billion this year.
On a monthly basis, exports in July were up 5.9 percent from June, but July's imports edged down 0.4 percent from the previous month, the administration said.
The country's foreign trade totaled $262.31 billion last month, up 30.8 percent from a year earlier.
The trade surplus for the first seven months totaled $83.93 billion, down 21.2 percent over the same period last year.
Trade with the European Union, the country's largest trade partner, climbed 36.6 percent year on year in the January-July period to $263.16 billion, the GAC said.
Trade with the United States jumped 30.6 percent during the period while that with Japan expanded 34.9 percent in the first seven months compared with a year earlier.
Brazil overtook Russia to become China's 10th largest trade partner, with bilateral trade surging 54.6 percent to $32.51 billion from January to July.