China exports another sign of pick-up as leaders meet

Fri Nov 8, 2013 2:23am EST
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By Natalie Thomas

BEIJING (Reuters) - A stronger-than-expected rebound in China's exports in October added to a run of indicators suggesting the world's second-largest economy has found its footing just as Beijing prepares to lay out its reform agenda for the next decade.

Improving demand from the United States and Europe lifted exports and helped reinforce the view that China has regained some momentum since mid-year after a protracted slowdown.

"China's export numbers suggest some -- although not yet decisive -- improvement in global demand momentum," said Louis Kuijs, an economist with RBS, in a note.

Exports increased 5.6 percent in October from a year earlier, the Customs Administration said on Friday, handily beating market expectations for a 3.2 percent rise and recovering from a 0.3 percent fall in September.

Attention is now on inflation and activity figures on Saturday, which will give a clearer overall picture of the health of the economy just as top politicians meet to lay out their reform agenda at the Communist Party's third plenary session from November 9-12.

China's leaders have repeatedly said they are reshaping the economy so it is driven by domestic demand rather than exports and investment, and that slower growth is acceptable while they push on with their reforms.

A Reuters poll shows inflation is expected to have risen to an 18-month high in October, retail sales and M2 money supply growth rates are seen edging up slightly, while investment and factory output tick down.


A crane carries a container from a Hanjin Shipping ship at the Hanjin container terminal as a China Shipping Line ship (L) arrives at the Busan New Port in Busan, about 420 km (261 miles) southeast of Seoul, August 8, 2013. REUTERS/Lee Jae-Won