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China Exports Surge, Rising 7.9% in January | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Container boxes are seen at the Yangshan Deep Water Port, part of the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, in Shanghai, China September 24, 2016. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

China’s exports rose 7.9 per cent in January compared to the same month last year, reaching 183 billion dollars, Chinese customs data showed Friday.

The strong figures come as Beijing looks to position itself as leader of the global trade. According to Germany-based news agency DPA, imports jumped 16.7 per cent for the month, reaching 131 billion dollars. Total trade grew 11.4 per cent compared to January 2016, reaching 314 billion dollars.

Officials at the Customs bureau said overseas shipments jumped 7.9 percent on-year to $182.8 billion, easily outstripping the 3.2 percent tipped in a survey of economists by Bloomberg News.

The numbers are a positive sign for the Chinese economy, after exports contracted by 6.1 per cent in December, according to government data.

When calculated in Chinese currency, exports rose by 15.9 per cent and imports jumped by 25.2 percent in January. In 2016, China’s exports decreased 7.7 per cent compared with 2015.

“Chinese trade values have been picking up in recent months thanks to a revival in global manufacturing, the continued strength of China’s domestic economy and the rebound in global commodity prices,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics.

However, he pointed out: “It’s likely that much of the pick-up last month was seasonal”, noting that “all of the pre-holiday rush to import goods and meet exports orders fell in January”, with the country stocking up before Chinese New Year, when most businesses close.

The economy registered growth of 6.7 per cent, the weakest rate since 1990.