Exports grew by 16.3% over a year earlier to $544.7 billion in the two-month period, customs data showed Monday. Imports advanced 15.5% to $428.7 billion.
Chinese authorities combine trade data for the first two months to screen out fluctuations due to the Lunar New Year holiday, which falls at different times each year in January or February. Factories shut down for up to two weeks, then restock after they reopen.
Exports to the United States rose 13.8% over a year earlier to $91.5 billion despite higher U.S. tariffs in a lingering trade war with Beijing.
Imports of American goods gained 8.3% to $31.7 billion. That was despite an abrupt slide in Chinese economic activity to 4% over a year earlier in the final quarter of 2021, compared with 8.1% for the full year, due to a crackdown on corporate debt.
The politically volatile trade surplus with the United States, one of the factors behind then-President Donald Trump’s decision to hike tariffs on Chinese goods in 2018, widened by 16.7% to $59.8 billion.
China’s global trade surplus rose 12.3% to $115.9 billion.