China's trade growth slowed in October but remained robust, with exports rising 11.6 percent compared to the same period the previous year.

The Customs Administration said Sunday that last month's exports of $206.9 billion reflected a deceleration from September's rate of 15.3 percent, which was the fastest growth rate in more than 1 ½ year.

October imports of $161.5 billion were up 4.6 percent from the previous year, a growth rate somewhat less than expected by some economists.

China's communist leaders are hoping to nurture domestic consumption to fuel growth as an alternative to relying on exports to support employment.