Analysts in a Reuters poll had expected exports to surge 38.9% from a year earlier after 18.1% growth in December. They had forecast a 15% jump in imports after a 6.5% increase in December.
China posted a trade surplus of $103.25 billion for the two months. Analysts in the poll had expected the surplus to narrow to $60.00 billion from $78.17 billion in December.
China’s customs authority began combining January and February data in 2020 to smooth distortions caused by the Lunar New Year, which can fall in either month. (Reporting by Colin Qian, Stella Qiu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa and William Mallard)