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China exports surge 16.4% year-on-year in March
[BEIJING] Chinese exports surged 16.4 per cent year-on-year to US$180.6 billion in March, official data showed on Thursday, in a sign of stabilisation for the world's second largest economy.
The world's largest trader in goods, China's performance affects partners from Australia to Zambia, which have been hit as its expansion has slowed to levels not seen in a quarter of a century.
The figures mark a dramatic turnaround for the country, which saw exports drop 1.3 per cent year-on-year in February.
The March jump was the largest in two years, according to Bloomberg News.
Imports also rose 20.3 per cent year-on-year to US$156.7 billion in the month, Customs said, while the trade surplus increased to US$23.9 billion.
"China has finally caught up with the rest of Asia with the end of the trade recession," Raymond Yeung of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group told Bloomberg.
He added that "the risk of a trade war has diminished substantially" due to recent discussions between President Xi and Trump.
A pickup in external demand, surging import prices, and a stable domestic economy boosted the figures, Customs spokesman Huang Songping told a press briefing on Thursday.
"(The) foreign trade situation in China is still complex with many instabilities and uncertainties, and the difficulties that China faces are not short-term ones," Mr Huang said, adding that foreign trade expansion is likely to fall back in the second quarter.