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Trade surplus climbs amid slowing economy
Updated: 2004-11-12 09:59

China's trade surplus jumped 23.7 percent year on year in October despite easing industry and export growth, a report of the Ministry of Commerce said Friday.

According to the statistics released by the ministry, China recorded a trade surplus of US$7.1 billion in October, the sixth straight month of surpluses.

The monthly surplus compared with US$5 billion in September and US$5.74 billion in last October.

However, imports also grew faster than expected, the ministry said. Imports in October jumped 29.3 percent over the year-earlier period to US$45.43 billion, compared with September¡¯s rise of 22 percent, while exports grew 28.5 percent to US$52.53 billion, slowing from September data.

Meanwhile, industrial output growth in the world¡¯s seven-largest economy slowed to 15.7 percent in October from September¡¯s 16.1 percent, a sign many economists said would help reduce pressure for another interest hike this year.

¡°The possibility of raising interest rates again within this year is not very big as inflation is expected to slow gradually in coming months,¡± said Song Guoqing, a leading economist at the Stock Exchange Executive Council.

However, the State Information Bureau said in a separate report Thursday the producer price index ¡ª a leading indicator for consumer price movements ¡ª jumped 8.4 percent year on year in October, 0.5 percentage points higher than September.

Higher prices for crude oil, coal, steel and nonferrous metal prices were major factors behind the rise in the index, which measures the cost of goods used in production, the bureau said.

The price of crude oil in October was 41.4 percent higher than a year earlier, while gasoline was up 21.6 percent and coal 22.2 percent, the bureau said, adding prices of steel products jumped between 14.5 percent and 22.6 percent.

The bureau also predicts China¡¯s economy to grow by 9.3 percent to 13.4 trillion yuan (US$1.6 trillion) this year, slightly higher than the World Bank¡¯s forecast of 9.25 percent.

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