Foreign direct investment (FDI) for September rose year-over-year, even as the flow of foreign investment for the year to date continued its third month of decline, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the Commerce Ministry. China attracted US$9 billion in FDI last month, up 1.9% over the previous September. That compared with a 14% slide in August to US$7.2 billion, a level not seen since February 2012. That left China US$87.4 billion of FDI in the first nine months of 2014, down 1.4% from a year earlier. While FDI is an important gauge of the health of the external economy, it is a small contributor to overall capital flows compared with exports – worth about US$2 trillion in 2013.