Chinese exports rose by 15.3 percent in September

Chinese exports in September rose by 15.3 percent from the year before – the biggest increase since February 2013. The country also experienced a rebound in imports, increasing by 7 percent – higher than what most analysts had forecast.

China now has a trade surplus of approximately $31 billion, according to data gathered by the Beijing-based customs administration.

The impressive trade data will help China at a time when the country is suffering from a severe property slump. It shows signs of life in the economy and highlights the competitiveness of Chinese exports.

Exports to Hong Kong overtook the US in the month as the number one destination for Chinese shipments, with exports to the area increasing by 34 percent from last year.

The jump in exports is much higher than the 9.4 percent jump in August, however, in August the country reported a 2.4 percent decline in imports, with a trade surplus of a record $49.8 billion.

Despite the new trade data Chinese stocks continued to decline. The Shanghai Composite Index (SHCOMP) dropped by 1.2 percent and the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index fell by 0.8 percent.

Analysts forecast China’s growth this year will be 7.3 percent and 7 percent in 2015 – the lowest rates since 1990.

Central bank Governor Zhou Xiaochuan commented that the Chinese economy “will continue to expand at a steady pace.”

On October 21 the country’s Gross domestic product data is set to be released.

Premier Li Keqiang has opted not to follow a broad-based stimulus monetary policy and has said that China prefers reform as a means of boosting the economy.

Wen Bin, a researcher at China Minsheng Banking Corp., said that with the US economy improving there is an increase in external demand, adding that “China’s exports are expected to stay healthy.”