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China Sept. exports jump 9.9%, imports up 2.4%

BEIJING -- China's exports grew at roughly twice the rate expected in September while imports returned to the path of expansion, suggesting government measures to underpin economic growth are working and additional policy action may not be needed for now.

Customs data showed exports in September grew 9.9 percent from a year earlier, roughly twice the 5-percent rate expected by investors and up sharply from the 2.7-percent annual rise recorded in August.

Imports rose 2.4 percent year-on-year in September, in line with findings in the benchmark Reuters poll that had forecast a recovery from August's surprise 2.6-percent annual decline.

The trade surplus was US$27.7 billion in September, compared with a forecast of US$20.7 billion and August's US$26.7 billion.

“The export data is much stronger than expected, signaling that overseas markets have recovered,” Xiao Bo, economist at Huarong Securities in Beijing told Reuters.

Xiao said a trade recovery implied a slide in China's economic growth is likely to have been arrested, boding well for a recovery to take hold in the fourth quarter to brighten the jobs outlook — a key factor for Beijing as a November leadership transition for the ruling Communist Party looms.

“With the recovery in the export growth, we think Beijing will not cut RRR or interest rates further in the coming months as policymakers tend to keep policy stable when China heads towards a once-a-decade leadership change,” Xiao said.

China has cut required reserve ratios for commercial banks by 150 basis points since November last year, freeing an estimated 1.2 trillion yuan (US$190 billion) for lending, and cut interest rates in June and July to help underpin growth.

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 US deficit tops US$1 tril. for 4th year, slight improvement 
A man pushes a cart past sausages drying on a street of Hong Kong on Saturday, Oct. 13. Chinese exports rose 9.9 percent in September year-on-year to a record monthly high, the government said, but analysts warned the performance was unsustainable given the weak global outlook. (AFP)

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