In an article about China's economy from the Associated Press , numbers are used to demonstrate the economic upswing the Chinese economy is currently on.
The numbers in this story are mainly used to show the reader how the economy has turned around. For instance, export growth increased to 11.6 percent from the previous month of 9.9 percent. Numbers like these are easy for a reader to understand and grasp the concept of export growth.
A lot of people don't have top notch numeracy skills so it was nice in this story that they used numbers in a clear way for anybody to understand.
The source of much of this data is "Trade data".
Another important set of numbers is used in this piece when talking about China's global trade surplus widening by nearly 90 percent over a year ago to $32 billion. A big number like that makes people look and take notice. Obviously you shouldn't insert a big number in your story just to get people to look if it isn't true, but if you have the opportunity those types of numbers are impressive to people no matter what the story.