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Trade surplus narrows to $14.5 billion in September

(People's Daily Online)

16:15, October 13, 2011

Trade surplus of China narrowed in September, the General Administration of Customs reported Thursday, as exports growth weakened but imports increased vigorously in the month.

The aggregate trade surplus in the first three quarters was just over US$107 billion, far less than the same period last year.

Analysts said China's trade prospects looked murkier, thanks to the potential danger of a possible trade war with the United States after the U.S. Senate passed a bill Tuesday, which aimed at pressuring China to appreciate its currency.

Trade surplus fell to US$14.5 billion in September from August's US$17.7 billion as exports increased 17.1 percent year-on-year but imports jumped 20.9 percent, the General Administration of Customs said. The surplus settled at US$31.5 billion in July and US$22.3 billion in June.

September's pace of export growth rate moderated from August’s 24.5 percent.

"September’s export growth came in weaker than expected, driven by a deteriorating demand from Europe," said Chang Jian, an economist at the Barclays Capital.

He estimated that the weakening external demand in the Western developed economies would continue to slow down export shipment in the fourth quarter of the year, and he presaged a total trade surplus of US$160 billion, lower than last year's US$183 billion.

Vice Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan said earlier in Shanghai that China did not seek a trade surplus and the country would vigorously boost imports to balance trade.

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