China exports jump in Feb as economy recovers
BEIJING (AFP) – China’s exports surged more than 20 per cent in February on-year despite the Lunar New Year holiday, data showed Friday, in another sign of recovery for the world’s second-largest economy.
The jump in exports helped China to record a surprise trade surplus of $15.3 billion in February, although it narrowed from $29.2 billion in January, the General Administration of Customs said in a statement.
The market had expected a trade deficit of $16 billion, according to the median forecast in a poll of 13 economists by Dow Jones Newswires.
Exports jumped 21.8 per cent year-on-year to $139.4 billion in February, while imports dropped 15.2 per cent to $124.1 billion, customs said.
Analysts said the strong exports growth was a good sign for the economy, but suggested the weakness in imports may have been due to factories shutting down for the week-long holiday, reducing demand for raw materials and components.
“The import data may have been affected by the seasonal factor of the Lunar New Year, but exports were not affected at all, growing faster-than-expected,” Liu Ligang, a Hong Kong-based economist for bank ANZ, told AFP.
“China will undoubtedly remain on a recovery track this year, with its economy likely growing more than eight per cent,” he said.
China’s commerce minister said Friday that he expected China’s overall growth in trade – imports and exports combined – to improve this year from 2012, although he warned about unforeseen global problems.