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The renminbi value of China’s exports surprised in the first month of the year with double-digit growth as imports also came in well above expectations.

In local currency terms exports rose 15.9 per cent last month, jumping from growth of 0.6 per cent in December. That was more than ten percentage points higher than a median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg that called for a 5.2 per cent rise.

Imports grew 25.2 per cent in renminbi terms, jumping from 10.8 per cent the month prior and coming in ten percentage points above a median forecast of 15.2 per cent.

Those trade flows brought China’s trade balance to Rmb354.5bn, almost Rmb50bn above expectations.

Stay tuned for trade in dollar terms, a set of more closely-watched figures that typically arrive shortly after renminbi trade data.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2017. All rights reserved.

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