China delivered a better-than-expected export performance in February 2018, highlighting the Chinese economy's ongoing strength despite recent global trade tensions.
The country's exports rose by 44.5 per cent compared to February 2017, representing the fastest pace of growth in three years. This significantly exceeded analysts' forecast for a 13.6 per cent increase, and outstripped the 11.1 per cent growth rate seen in January.
Imports, meanwhile, ticked upwards by 6.3 per cent, although this figure was less than the 9.7 per cent growth forecast and much lower than the greater-than-expected 36.9 per cent rise seen in January.
Although these figures are distorted to some degree by the timing of the Lunar New Year holiday, the broader trend continues to look positive for China, which is seeking to reduce risks in its financial system without harming economic momentum.
It also shows that Chinese trade remains healthy despite the looming threat of a trade war with the US, with the two countries having announced various tariffs on each others' goods in recent weeks.
A report from Capital Economics said: "On paper, China has more to lose from a trade war - it exports far more to the US than it imports. But [for the US] there are few alternative sources for the main products that it buys from China."