China's trade surplus more than doubled on month to $31.1B, which could increase pressure on the country to let the yuan appreciate further.
Exports to the EU +12.7% on year, to the U.S. +8.1%. The strong numbers are particularly surprising, as last year's figures are widely thought to have been over-reported.
"Combined with...better export data in Korea and Taiwan, China's export numbers suggests some — although not yet decisive — improvement in global demand momentum," says RBS economist Louis Kuijs. The import growth reflects "healthy expansion of demand" in China. (Previous)
The data comes ahead of a four-day meeting of China's leaders starting tomorrow, when they are set to discuss "comprehensive reforms" of the economy. These are expected to include the liberalization of interest and exchange rates, promoting competition, cutting red tape, strengthening the fiscal system and pushing innovation, and developing the service sector.
Ultimately, the government wants to reduce the economy's over-dependence on heavy industry, state investment and exports to one that is more reliant on private consumption and greater diversification. They're also looking to reduce the risks of the huge build-up in lending.
The Shanghai Composite is -1.1%.