China’s exports, imports pick up pace in September

China’s customs figures showed exports grew 8.1 percent and imports expanded 18.7 percent in September.(Chinatopix via AP)
Updated 13 October 2017
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China’s exports, imports pick up pace in September

BEIJING: China’s exports and imports surged in September, officials data showed Friday, providing President Xi Jinping a boost as he prepares to accept a second term as Communist Party chief this month.
Customs figures showed exports grew 8.1 percent and imports expanded 18.7 percent in September.
That compares with a 5.5 percent rise in exports and a 13.3 percent jump in imports seen the month before.
However, while the imports reading beat forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey, exports fell slightly short.
The September trade surplus reached $28.5 billion (SR106.87 billion), compared to $47 billion in August.
“Today’s figures suggest that not only has strong foreign demand continued to prop up manufacturing activity in China but domestic demand remains resilient too,” Julian Evans-Pritchard, China Economist at Capital Economics wrote in a note.
But Evans-Pritchard said the figures were skewed because there were more working days last month compared with last year’s period, as the nearly week-long Mid-Autumn Festival holiday was held in September 2016.
It was the latest positive economic news for China after the International Monetary Fund’s released a report this week raising the country’s growth forecasts for 2017 and 2018 to 6.8 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively.
However, analysts have repeatedly warned that China’s growing debt mountain still poses risks to its economy.
Xi is expected to secure a second five-year term as general secretary of the Communist Party during its twice-a-decade congress, which opens on Wednesday.


Ryanair agrees to buy 25 more Boeing 737 MAX planes

Updated 17 min 21 sec ago
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Ryanair agrees to buy 25 more Boeing 737 MAX planes

DUBLIN: Ryanair has agreed to buy a further 25 Boeing 737 MAX planes, worth $3 billion at list prices, lifting its order of the US planemaker’s flagship short-haul plane model to 135, the two companies said on Tuesday.
The Irish low-cost carrier, which is the largest operator of Boeing planes in Europe, purchased 100 737 MAX planes in 2014 and took out options on 100 more.
Ryanair said the order leaves it with 75 more options.
It purchased 10 additional MAX planes in June last year, which were on top of the 2014 order.
Chief Executive Michael O’Leary in March said he expected to exercise “pretty much all” of its options.
Ryanair has dubbed the MAX a “game changer” for its business, due to a fuel consumption improvement it says could be up to 16 percent and a greater number of seats.
The configuration Ryanair has ordered has 197 seats compared to 189 in its current fleet of 737s.
Ryanair rivals easyJet and Wizz have ordered Airbus A321 planes, which seat up to 239 passengers.
Ryanair has held talks with Boeing about its new larger version of the 737 airliner, the MAX 10, which can carry up to 230 passengers, but has made clear it would only be interested if the price is lowered.
The first of Ryanair’s 737 MAX planes are due for delivery in the first half of 2019 and will use CFM Leap-1B engines.
Ryanair, which currently operates around 430 Boeing 737 planes, says the MAX order will allow it reach its target of carrying 200 million passengers per year by 2024.