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China Feb Exports +44.5% on Year; Expected +8.5%

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03/08/2018 | 04:54am CEST

BEIJING--China's exports surged again in February, expanding at a double-digit pace for the fourth straight month and widening its trade surplus as overseas demand for Chinese goods continued to show strength.

China's trade balance widened in February to $33.74 billion surplus from $20.34 billion the previous month. A poll of economists by The Wall Street Journal had tipped imports would exceed exports by $5.4 billion for the first deficit in a year as the Lunar New Year holidays affected production.

Exports jumped 44.5% in February from a year earlier, following growth of 11.1% in January, the General Administration of Customs said Thursday. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast the value of shipments overseas to grow 8.5%.

Imports in February rose 6.3% from a year earlier, compared with a near 37% surge in January. The rise was smaller than the poll's forecast for a 7.5% gain.

An official gauge of the country's factory activities released last week pointed to softer external demand for Chinese goods.

The shift in the timing of the Lunar New Year, which fell in January last year but February this year, typically distorts the data in the first two months of the year.

Write to Grace Zhu at grace.zhu@wsj.com

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