China’s imports increased by almost 40% in February 2017, according to official data, driven by higher commodity prices and strong domestic demand.
Exports fell 1.3 percent, far below the 14 percent estimate.
The readings left China with a trade deficit of $9.15 billion, its first in three years.
Leaders will probably be encouraged by the import figures as they look to reconfigure the economy from one driven by exports and state investment to one based on domestic consumption.
Imports surged as economic activity recovers and commodity prices increase, said Wen Bin, a researcher at China Minsheng Banking Corp. in Beijing
“Exports missed estimates mostly because trade is generally very volatile in the first two months due to the Chinese New Year factor.”