Chinese exports up, raise trade surplus

Chinese exports up, raise trade surplus

BEIJING - Agence France-Presse
Chinese exports up, raise trade surplus

A worker walks in a shipping container area at the Port of Shanghai in this file photo. China’s export growth for last month is more than 20 percent. REUTERS Photo

China’s exports surged more than 20 percent in February on-year despite the Lunar New Year holiday, data showed on March 8, 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 percent year-on-year to $139.4 billion in February, while imports dropped 15.2 percent 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.

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.

China’s total foreign trade grew just 6.2 percent last year to $3.87 trillion, falling short of the government target of around 10 percent growth.

The country’s top state planning body, the National Development and Reform Commission, has forecast eight percent growth in foreign trade volume for this year.