China's trade surplus widened 7.7 percent to USD 29.
2 billion in January from a year earlier, as exports increased at the fastest pace since April 2011, government data showed Friday. Exports surged 25.0 percent year-on-year to USD 187.4 billion, up from December's 14.
1-percent growth, according to data released by the General Administration of Customs. Imports rose 28.8 percent to USD 158.2 billion, compared with an increase of 6.0 percent in December.
China's trade with the European Union (EU), the nation's largest trading partner, gained 10.5 percent on the year, while that with the US, the country's second-largest partner, grew 23.4 percent. "A lower comparative base last year caused by fewer working days has helped push up the growth rate this year," said Li Jian, a foreign trade expert from a research institute at the Ministry of Commerce, according to state-run Xinhua News Agency. There were 22 working days in January, five days more than last year when the seven-day Spring Festival holiday fell in the first month. The Spring Festival, also known as Chinese Lunar New Year, holiday falls in February this year.
The data for trade, a key growth driver, may point to a stronger economic rebound in China this year, said Xinhua.
The government aims to boost foreign trade in tandem with the country's economic expansion in 2013, as external demand is expected to remain slack despite positive domestic factors, the ministry said last month. Last year, China's annual foreign trade growth slowed to 6.2 percent missing the government's 10-percent target set for 2012.