HANOI - Vietnam's exports in the first seven months of this year fell 10.6% from a year earlier to $194.73 billion, government data showed on Saturday, with activity dragged down by a sluggish global economy and weak domestic demand.

Industrial output for January to July fell 0.7% from the same period last year in the Southeast Asian industrial powerhouse, while average consumer prices rose 3.12%, the General Statistics Office said in a report.

Core inflation rose 4.65% in the first seven months, it said. Vietnam targets inflation below 4.5% this year.

The data underlined a slowdown in economic growth for the region's manufacturing hub.

Imports for the period fell 17.1% to $179.5 billion, resulting in a trade surplus of $15.23 billion, the statistics office said.

Exports of smartphones, Vietnam's largest export earner, fell 18.3% in the January-July period to $27.8 billion.

July exports fell 3.5%, while imports were down 9.9%.

(Reporting by Phuong Nguyen; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and William Mallard)