NEW YORK (AP) — Investors returned to the safety of U.S. government bonds after China reported that trade and domestic demand had weakened faster than expected.

The reports suggested that the world's second-largest economy is in a worse slump than people had thought. Investors have preferred the low-yielding but relatively safe Treasurys rather than bet on other investments at a time when the global economy seems to be slowing.

The price of the 10-year Treasury note increased 31.2 cents for every $100 invested, pushing its yield down to 1.66 percent from 1.70 percent late Thursday.

China reported that its export growth plunged in July to just 1 percent from 11.3 percent the previous month, well below forecasts of about 5 percent, data showed Friday. Factory production, auto sales and retail sales all had anemic growth.

The slowdown is bad news for companies that depend on China's demand for oil, iron ore and other imported commodities as the United States struggles with a sluggish recovery and Europe is mired in a debt crisis.

In other trading, the 30-year bond's price gained 59 cents, and its yield fell to 2.74 from 2.76 percent Thursday.

The yield on the two-year Treasury note fell to 0.26 percent, from 0.28 percent. The yield on the three-month Treasury bill was also lower at 0.10 percent, compared to 0.11 percent.