China's exports surged in the first two months of the year, reflecting strong global demand for manufactured goods and with figures partly skewed by the low base in 2020 when the economy was in lockdown.
Exports jumped 60.6% in dollar terms in the January-February period from a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed this month, well above the 40% median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists. In February alone, exports more than doubled from last year.
China's exports rebounded strongly from last year's lockdown
The first two months are normally volatile for China's economic activity because of the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, which fell in February this year. The figures are even more distorted this time around because of the comparison with 2020, when factories and businesses were shut to contain the coronavirus outbreak in the early part of the year. Exports plunged 17.4% in the first two months of last year.
The customs agency said the strong trade data reflects improving demand in major trading partners like the U.S. and Europe, a domestic recovery that's fueling import growth, and base effects from last year's slump.
The value of exports declined to almost $205 billion in February, likely due to the Lunar New Year holiday. However, that was still 155% higher than shipments in the same month in 2020, when China was in lockdown to contain the first outbreak of Covid-19.