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Smaller Chinese Trade Surplus Points To Global Economic Slowdown

Distributors with a substantial supply base in China may have suffered from weakened demand last month, as the world's second-largest economy took a hit to its trade surplus in September.

Both exports and imports grew at a slower year-over-year pace in September compared to August. Chinese exports cooled to a 17.1 percent annual growth rate, down from 24.5 percent in August, while import growth slowed from 30.2 percent to 20.9 percent, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"China's export growth is feeling the chill from the intensifying crisis and weakening demand from the west," said Qu Hongbin, an economist at HSBC.

Mounting debt crises in Europe, as well as economic stagnation and rampant unemployment in the U.S., have put a damper on exports to nations on both sides of the Atlantic.

"In an ideal world we would like to see exports and imports growing at relatively strong rates," Clark Yingst, chief market analyst for investment firm Joseph Gunnar, told The New York Times. But with exports outpacing imports, Yingst added, it suggests weakened consumer demand.

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