Chinese Import Growth Slowed in July as Demand Cools

The growth in China's demand for imports slowed in July, posing a possible risk to global economic demand.

Imports gained 22.7% year-on-year to $116.8 billion, compared with an increase of 34.1% in June, The Associated Press reported. Export growth was 38.1%, down from 43.9% in June.

Sluggish demand from China could hurt its ability to drive a global economic recovery.

"The drop in imports might affect those countries that supply China with raw materials," Xing Ziqiang, an economist with China International Capital Corp., told the AP.

The country's demand for imports has fallen as the government tries to head off a possible asset bubble by curbing bank lending and construction activity. Other signs of cooling demand include auto sales, which fell 11.9 % in July from the previous month.