China’s December trade up but growth weakens
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China’s December trade up but growth weakens

BEIJING (AP) — China’s December exports rose by double digits, likely fueling tensions with Washington ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao’s visit to the United States next week.

Exports rose 17.9 percent, down from November’s 34.9 percent surge but still producing a $13.1 billion surplus, customs data showed Monday. Imports gained 25.6 percent, down from the previous month’s 37.7 percent, amid relatively strong Chinese economic growth.

The White House says President Barack Obama plans to push Hu over currency controls that Washington and other trading partners say are swelling China’s trade surplus and wiping out jobs abroad. Some American lawmakers want sanctions on Chinese goods if Beijing fails to ease controls that they say keep its yuan undervalued.

December exports rose to $154.1 billion while imports were $141 billion, data showed.

China’s trade growth rebounded sharply in November, suggesting global demand might be strengthening. But economists said part of the gain was due to Christmas-related spending in Western economies and growth was likely to weaken.