BEIJING--China's exports in dollar terms in December fell from a year earlier, following an uptick in November, a reflection of the continued headwinds faced by the world's second-largest economy.

Exports fell 6.1% in December from a year earlier, following a 0.1% gain in November, the General Administration of Customs said Friday. November's unexpected rise in exports broke a seven-month streak of declines.

Exports had been expected to drop 3.0%, according to the median estimate from a Wall Street Journal poll of 11 economists.

The figures indicate that China's overseas shipments, once an important generator of growth, are continuing to weigh on its overall economic performance amid continued sluggishnessin global trade.

Imports in December rose 3.1% from a year earlier, compared with a 6.7% gain in November. The increase was in line with the poll's median forecast for a 3.0% increase.

China's trade surplus in December narrowed to $40.82 billion from $44.61 billion the previous month, falling short of a median forecast for a $48.30 billion surplus.

For 2016, exports dropped 7.7%, while imports declined 5.5%, resulting in a trade surplus of $510 billion. Last year's trade surplus was smaller than the $594.5 billion surplus in 2015.

Write to Liyan Qi at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 12, 2017 22:19 ET (03:19 GMT)

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