Chinese imports surge as domestic demand heats up

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Beijing - China’s imports surged from a year earlier with the nation posting a rare trade deficit in February. Analysts said seasonal factors mostly explain the swing.

Imports jumped 38.1%, almost double what economists had projected, while exports slipped 1.3% in US dollar terms in February, less than the estimated 14% increase in a Bloomberg survey. That left a $9.2bn trade deficit, the first negative reading in three years.

Economists said the results were skewed because the week-long Lunar New Year holidays that shutter factories and ports across the nation occurred in February 2016 versus late January this year, distorting base year comparisons.

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