Workers operate machinery on the assembly line at a Lyric Robert factory, operated by Guangdong Li Yuanheng Intelligent Automation Co., in Huizhou, Guangdong province, China, on Monday, April 18, 2016.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Workers operate machinery on the assembly line at a Lyric Robert factory, operated by Guangdong Li Yuanheng Intelligent Automation Co., in Huizhou, Guangdong province, China, on Monday, April 18, 2016.

China reported strong trade data on Friday just days ahead of a major Communist Party Congress.

In September, China’s exports were up 8.1 percent from a year ago in dollar terms, while imports were up 18.7 percent.

Analysts polled by Reuters expected an 8.8 percent rise in Chinese exports in September from a year ago in dollar terms. Dollar-denominated imports were forecast to jump 13.5 percent in the same period.

China’s August exports were up 5.5 percent from a year ago in dollar terms, while imports were up 13.3 percent in dollar terms.

China’s September trade surplus was $28.47 billion — the lowest since March 2017.

China’s August trade balance was $41.99 billion, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

China’s economic data have been showing robust growth ahead of leadership changes set to happen at the upcoming Party Congress.

Huang Songping, spokesman for the Customs department told a press conference on Friday that trade for the first three quarters improved due to a recovery in overall global and domestic economic environment. There has been a return in global demand, he added.

But many expect the mainland’s economy to slow in the later part of the year due to a crackdown on debt and as the property market cools.

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