China's exports were down 0.3% last month, a result that surprised economists, who traced it to falling global demand and possibly a data adjustment that corrected for previously overstated results. "China's dependence on external demand weakened. This shows China's economic development has transformed from being driven by external demand to domestic demand," said Zheng Yuesheng, deputy director general of the customs agency's statistics department. Imports, meanwhile, rose 7.4% in September.

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