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China cautiously optimistic on trade after favorable January

2014-02-24 16:49 Shanghai Daily Web Editor: Si Huan

China is cautiously optimistic about the country's trade growth this year with both exports and imports performing well in January, a Commerce Ministry spokesman said on Monday.

"We are confident that China's trade can maintain a similar growth momentum as that of last year based on further economic restructuring," Shen Danyang, a spokesman at the Ministry of Commerce, said in a statement.

In terms of US dollars, China's trade jumped 10.3 percent from a year earlier in January with exports rising 10.6 percent and imports expanding 10 percent. Both exports and imports grew much faster than in December and were stronger than market expectations.

In terms of the yuan, China's trade increased 7.3 percent last month as a result of the appreciation of the yuan, Shen said. The Chinese yuan strengthened 2.9 percent in January from the same period last year.

"We are cautiously optimistic about the trade outlook," Shen said. But he warned that low profitability -- caused by high business costs, a strong yuan and the difficulties in raising prices -- will still keep exporters from getting too comfortable.

"We should have a clear mind, and conduct serious monitoring as well as analysis to track the growth trend of trade," Shen said.

In a previous interview, Shen attributed China's surprisingly good trade performance in January to the fast recovery of global demand, China's policies of stabilizing trade and seasonal factors.

In 2013, China's exports rose 7.9 percent and imports gained 7.3 percent, landing the country's total trade value at US$4.16 trillion, up 7.6 percent on an annual basis. It was the first time that China reported trade in goods passing US$4 trillion, which made it the world's biggest trading nation.

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