It’s coming up to that time of the month when economic growth statistics start being bandied about, and an official at the NDRC was one of the first to get pundits going, claiming that the economy grew between 7% and 8% between January and September. A Dow Jones survey showed economists believe GDP growth in the third quarter will reach 9.1%. Official growth figures from the National Bureau of Statistics for September and the third quarter are due on Thursday, so we’ll have to wait a little longer for the final tally. However, strong domestic growth in China is not enough for the Fed‘s Ben Bernanke, who said that while Asian economies appear to be leading the global economic recovery, they still need to encourage domestic consumption to offset increased US savings rates. He also said greater exchange rate flexibility would help mitigate asset bubbles forming in Asia. American Express, on the other hand, seems to feel comfortable enough with the way things are going, having announced that it will keep its 0.19% stake in ICBC, a sign that credit card company is no longer rifling through the drawers for cash. AmEx sold half of its ICBC shares in April for US$210 million and laid off 11,000 employees.