The growth of Chinese exports fell to its lowest rate in seven months, climbing 17.1% in September from one year ago, Bloomberg reported. China’s trade surplus was US$14.51 billion, its lowest level since May, while growth in September shipments to Europe fell to 9.8% compared with 22% in 2010. Among 25 emerging-market currencies, the renminbi has appreciated the most against the dollar in the past four years. Since July, the yuan has gained 4.3% against the euro as the debt crisis in Europe increased demand for dollars, weakening the competitiveness of exporters in China. A statement from the customs bureau highlighted as severe challenges “high unemployment rates and sliding consumer confidence” in the EU, US and Japan, as well as slowing growth in emerging economies.