Clothing manufacturers who have moved their factories from the mainland to Hong Kong to avoid US trade quotas may be behind the city's latest boost in exports. Figures for last month show total exports rose to $210.2 billion, up 17 per cent on the same month last year, after growing 12.7 per cent in August. Exports of clothing jumped 19.7 per cent, or $7.6 billion, last month compared to September 2004. The value of domestic exports increased 24.2 per cent year on year, to $14.4 billion. A government spokesman said: 'There was a visibly faster growth in domestic exports of clothing in recent months. Conceivably, some local manufacturers have enlarged their clothing production in Hong Kong, in view of the safeguard measures imposed by the US and EU on certain clothing items from the mainland.' There was also growth in exports of non-clothing items. In the first three quarters of this year, exports rose 12 per cent over the same period last year. Re-exports - items made outside Hong Kong that have valued added to them in the city and are then exported - were up 16.5 per cent year on year, at $195.8 billion. Domestic exports to Australia more than doubled, those to the Netherlands nearly doubled and those to Germany were up by nearly half. The government spokesman said Hong Kong's external trade continued to grow on the back of expansion of the global economy and 'sustained strong growth in the mainland's trade flows'. Imports increased 15.1 per cent, to $214.4 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $4.2 billion for the month.