China's exports grew for a seventh straight month in September, on continued strength in external demand for goods from the world's second-largest economy.
Exports increased 8.1% in September compared with the same period a year earlier, following 5.5% growth in August, the General Administration of Customs said Friday.
A poll of economists by The Wall Street Journal had forecast the value of shipments overseas would grow 10%.
Imports in September expanded 18.7% from a year earlier, compared with a 13.3% gain in August. The rise beat the poll's forecast for a 15% gain.
China's imports have been growing at a double-digit pace since January.
The trade surplus narrowed in September to $28.47 billion from nearly $42 billion the previous month, falling short of expectations for a $37.3 billion surplus.? The trade surplus was the lowest in six months.
A rebound in China's exports this year has helped support Chinese economic growth this year.
-- Grace Zhu and Liyan Qi
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 13, 2017 00:04 ET (04:04 GMT)