China's trade surplus was the third highest on record last month as exports performed better than expected but imports continued to fall.
The trade surplus was $49.6bn, a nudge higher than forecasts at $49bn. It fell slightly from the $54.5bn surplus a month before, which was the highest in 14 years of data.
The rise in exports suggest the global economy picked up momentum last month, but the fall in imports indicates domestic demand is weakening. The fall in imports is consistent with last week's inflation report: it showed that China's producer price index deflated by 3.3 per cent in annual terms, the most since September 2009, reflecting a drop in demand for raw materials.
Chinese exports grew 9.7 per cent from a year ago last month, beating estimates for a 4.7 per cent increase.
Imports fell 2.4 per cent from a year ago, a slim fall relative to expectations for a 6.2 per cent tumble. In November imports were down 6.7 per cent.
For 2014, exports rise 6,1 per cent, while imports grew just 0.4 per cent. The trade surplus for the year totalled $382.5bn, according to Bloomberg.