China import growth rises slightly in September

BEIJING -- China's import growth rose slightly in September but was still weak, suggesting that a recovery from a deep economic downturn has yet to take hold in the world's second-biggest economy.

The government said Saturday that imports rose 2.4 percent. That was an improvement from August, when imports contracted, but well below double-digit rates of recent years.

Export growth was a relatively robust 9.9 percent despite economic problems in Europe and the United States.

China's customs agency said total trade in the first three quarters of the year grew 6.2 percent. That suggests China is unlikely to hit the 10 percent growth target the government has set for the year.