China’s exports jumped the most in 18 months and declines in imports narrowed, adding to evidence of stabilization in the world’s second-biggest economy. Stocks rallied.
Overseas shipments rose 11.5 percent in dollar terms in March from a year earlier, compared with a 25 percent slump in February, when factories and offices were closed for a week-long holiday. Imports extended declines to 17 months with a 7.6 percent drop, compared with a forecast for a 10.1 percent drop. The trade surplus decreased to $29.9 billion, the least in a year.
The export rebound may suggest China’s economy fared better than expected in the first quarter, with data due Friday expected to show a 6.7 percent expansion for the period. The increase in shipments may indicate more than seasonal factors and could show a pick up in demand, said Iris Pang, a Greater China economist at Natixis SA in Hong Kong.