China’s import growth slowed for a second straight month in September as the country’s trade surplus rose 12% year-on-year to US$82 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported. The recent decline of global commodity prices after a surge earlier in the year is likely responsible for some of the import slowdown, but it may also be a sign that China’s economy is cooling somewhat. Ben Simpfendorfer, an economist for Royal Bank of Scotland in Hong Kong, cited a falloff in commodity demand as evidence of slowing growth, but stressed that "we can’t exaggerate the significance of it." Domestic steel production and construction have fallen recently. Though the trade surplus had shrunk for the first two quarters of 2008, the gap for September alone reached US$29.3 billion, a single-month record.