months of the year compared with a year earlier, picking up slightly from 19.3 percent in the first eight months.
The fragility of China's economic revival was underscored last week when data showed September's exports fell 0.3 percent from a year earlier, in stark contrast to expectations for a 6 percent rise.
Weaker demand in southeast Asia had driven the surprise drop in exports, as fears of possible U.S. monetary policy tightening led investors to retreat from emerging markets, bruising consumer confidence and demand for Chinese goods.
With China's economic pick-up so shaky, most economists believe Chinese authorities are likely to stand still on monetary policy in the next year-and-a-half. But at the same time, few believe Beijing would dramatically loosen policy to aid growth, barring a sharp downturn.