15 October 2009 | Jake Kanter
China trade is starting to pick up, although it is still 10 per cent lower than it was at the same time last year.
Official figures reported on China's state media website Xinhua said the decline in trade slowed "sharply" last month, indicating demand for the country's goods is recovering.
The total value of imports and exports reached $219 billion (£135.9 billion) in September - an increase of more than 14 per cent on the month before. But this still represented a decline of just over 10 per cent compared with the same period last year. Compared with 2008, China's exports fell over 15 per cent to $116 billion (£71.9 billion) last month. However, this was an improvement of nearly 12 per cent on August and was the slowest rate of decline in nine months. The country's imports were valued at $103 billion (£63.9 billion) in September, a decline of 3.5 per cent on last year, but an improvement of 17 per cent compared with August.
It is thought greater demand for Chinese goods and the government's 4.5 trillion yuan (£363 billion) stimulus package are driving improvement. The EU remained China's biggest trading partner in the first three quarters of 2009, with total trade hitting $260 billion (£161 billion). The US was a close second, completing deals worth $212 billion (£131 billion) with China this year.