China's trade growth cools in December

BEIJING (AP) — China reports its trade growth cooled in December in a sign of weaker global and domestic demand, but last year's total exports rose 7.9 percent over 2016 while imports were up 15.9 percent.

Customs data issued Friday showed exports rose 10.9 percent in December over a year earlier to $231.7 billion, down from the previous month's 12.3 percent growth. Imports expanded 4.5 percent to $177.1 billion, down from November's 17.7 percent gain.

Chinese trade has been unexpectedly strong in the face of forecasts that economic growth will cool as Beijing tightens controls on credit to slow a rise in debt.

For the full year, exports rose to nearly $2.3 trillion while imports expanded to $1.8 trillion yuan.

China's global trade surplus stood at $422.5 billion, down from 2016's $486 billion.