China reported an unexpectedly strong trade surplus last month as exports jumped 10.3 percent to 1.43 trillion yuan ($216 billion) last month and imports rose 15.6 percent to 1.17 trillion yuan, the General Administration of Customs reported today. The resulting trade surplus of 263.6 billion yuan was well above forecast.
The improved trading results, which came in the face of a rising global push for national protectionism, showed that China's imports and exports with major trade partners remained strong.
The strong showing in exports came mainly as a result of increased overseas consumption as the holidays draw near, Deng Haiqing, an analyst from JZ Securities, told Xinhuanet.com. The imports also beat market expectations, lifted partly by higher prices of crude oil and natural gas.
The official Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) released today also beat analysts' expectations. The PMI stood at 51.8 in November, compared with 51.6 in October. Analysts had forecast the reading would come in at 51.4, according to a survey conducted by Reuters.
Looking ahead, analysts from China Merchants Securities are optimisic. "Data in the last three months has shown continued strength in exports, indicating sustained recovery in external demand that has helped support China's industrial production in the fourth quarter."