By JOE McDONALD
AP Business Writer
BEIJING (AP) — China’s export growth weakened in August and imports shrank as high energy prices, inflation and anti-virus restrictions weighed on global and Chinese consumer demand. Customs data Wednesday showed exports rose 7% over a year earlier, just over one-third of July’s 18% expansion. Imports contracted by 0.2%. Demand for Chinese exports has softened as economic activity in Western markets slowed and the Federal Reserve and central banks in Europe and Asia raise interest rates to cool surging inflation. At home, repeated closures of cities to fight virus outbreaks has depressed consumer spending.