China’s trade surplus hit a monthly all-time high of US$28.7 billion in August – but this was caused by a sharp slowdown in imports rather than any significant movement in export numbers, AFP reported. The previous record for the trade surplus was US$27.1 billion, set in October 2007. Total imports came in at US$106.2 billion in August, up just 23.1% year-on-year. Import growth was 33.7% the previous month. Exports rose 21.1% to US$134.9 billion, compared to year-on-year growth of 26.9% in July. "Soft imports growth and the reacceleration and pickup in trade surplus growth in August could be an indication of weakening domestic demand, induced by the credit tightening which began nearly a year ago," Goldman Sachs said in a research note. However, economists also noted that falling international prices of raw materials helped push down the prices importers have to pay.