China's exports weaken in August while imports accelerate

China's export growth weakened in August in a sign of softening global demand while imports showed unexpected strength despite expectations of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.

Trade data on Friday showed exports rose 5.5 percent over a year earlier, down from July's 7.2 percent expansion. Imports rose 13.3 percent, up from the previous month's 11 percent.

Forecasters have warned Chinese economic growth will cool this year, dampening demand for foreign goods as controls on bank lending to slow a rise in debt take hold.