BEIJING: China's trade increased gear in January after stumbling the previous month, with exports and imports both growing much more than expected, pointing to a strong start to the year for global demand.
The robust data, along with last week's strong manufacturing and service surveys, suggest China's economy remained resilient at the start of 2018 and may even have picked up some momentum, despite crackdowns on factory pollution and riskier financing that are driving up borrowing costs.
Exports in January rose 11.1 percent from a year earlier, picking up from a 10.9 percent gain in December, official data showed. Analysts had expected growth to cool for a second straight month to 9.6 percent.
Imports surged 36.9 percent, the General Administration of Customs said, the fastest pace since last February and smashing analysts' forecast of 9.8 percent growth.
China's import growth had sharply decelerated to 4.5 percent in December, raising fears that its domestic demand was slumping as Beijing forced Northern smelters and mills to curtail production to reduce thick winter smog.