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China Exports & Imports Growth Exceeds Expectations


China's exports grew more-than-expected on global demand at the start of the year, and imports surged as factories lifted stocks ahead of the holidays, data from the General Administration of Customs revealed Thursday.

In dollar terms, exports advanced 11.1 percent year-over-year in January, faster than the 10.7 percent rise economists had forecast and a 10.9 percent rise posted in December.

Imports surged 36.9 percent in January from a year ago, well above the expected growth of 10.6 percent.

Due to higher imports, the trade surplus fell to $20.34 billion in January, which was well below the expected level of $54.65 billion.

Exports to the United States climbed more than 12 percent and imports from U.S. jumped 26.5 percent.

In yuan terms, exports rose 6 percent and imports advanced 30.2 percent. The trade surplus totaled CNY 135.8 billion.

Data from China for the first two months of the year are usually distorted due to the timing of the long Lunar New Year holidays.

Trade appears strong but seasonal effects muddy the waters, Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said. The economist said export growth will rise further in February but expects import growth to drop back sharply as the seasonal base effects reverse.

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