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The changes promised in a report issued following a closely watched Communist Party conference could be China's most significant economic overhaul in at least two decades. State media have compared the effort to market-style reforms in 1978 that launched China's economic boom.

Chinese leaders are trying to replace a growth model based on exports and investment that has run out of steam after delivering three decades of rapid growth. Reform advocates say economic growth rates will plunge, undermining the ruling party's claim to power, if industries from energy to telecoms to banking that are controlled by state companies are not opened to competition.

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US factory production rises 0.3 percent in October

WASHINGTON (AP) a¿¿ U.S. factories increased production for a third straight month in October, as stronger output of primary metals and furniture offset declines in auto production.

Manufacturing output rose 0.3 percent last month, up from 0.1 percent in September, the Federal Reserve reported Friday. Factory output is the biggest component of industrial production, which also includes mining and utilities.

Overall industrial production fell 0.1 percent after a 0.7 percent September gain. The mining sector, which includes oil and gas drilling, declined 1.6 percent after six months of gains. Utility output fell 1.1 percent.

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US wholesalers boost stockpiles for 3rd month

WASHINGTON (AP) a¿¿ U.S. wholesalers increased their stockpiles in September for the third straight month, an indication that they expect more demand from businesses and consumers.

Wholesale stockpiles rose a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent, the Labor Department said Friday. That follows an increase of 0.8 percent in the previous month. August's increase was the highest in seven months.

Sales at wholesale businesses rose 0.6 percent in September, up from 0.4 percent in August.

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Post office reports loss of $5 billion for year

WASHINGTON (AP) a¿¿ The U.S. Postal Service said Friday it lost $5 billion over the past year, and postal officials again urged Congress to pass legislation to help the beleaguered agency solve its financial woes.

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