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China's Exports Surge In February


China's exports increased sharply in February ahead of the Trump administration imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, raising fears of a trade war.

Data from the General Administration of Customs showed that exports jumped 44.5 percent year-over-year in February, much bigger than the 11.0 percent rise economists had forecast.

Imports climbed 6.3 percent in February from a year ago, slower than the expected growth of 8.0 percent.

The trade surplus totaled $33.7 billion in February, in contrast to the forecast of $5.7 billion shortfall and well above January's $20.3 billion surplus.

The trade surplus with the U.S. narrowed to $20.96 billion in February from $21.9 billion in January.

Earlier this month, the U.S. had imposed 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent on imported aluminum.

In yuan terms, China's exports surged 36.2 percent annually, while imports fell 0.2 percent in February. As a result, the trade surplus totaled CNY 224.8 billion.

The surge in export growth last month largely reflects the shifting timing of the Chinese New Year, Julian Evans-Pritchard, an economist at Capital Economics, said. The economist said US protectionism risk clouds the outlook.

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