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China's export prowess confirmed

Staff Writer
China's exports and imports grew substantially in January year on year. This suggested that global demand for Chinese made goods is continuing and Chinese consumers are spending too.

The figures for January were slightly lower than in December but analysts say they show the country's trade with the rest of the world has stabilised.

The data came a day after figures from Germany confirmed that China had overtaken it to become the world's largest exporter last year.

January's exports from China were up 21 percent. Imports rose by almost 86 percent.

The totals were boosted by the comparison with a period a year ago when many factories had closed for Chinese New Year. This year the holiday falls in February.

Oil and commodities were also much cheaper a year ago than they are now, because of the slowdown in global demand, and that too helps to

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account for the huge growth in the cost of imports.

But analysts say the data confirms that China's recovery is on track.

Some are worried to about Chinese manufacturers' profitability.

Reports this week suggested some of the provinces where lots of exporters are based have already, or are planning to raise their minimum wages.

Local governments kept wage rates low during the downturn to help firms remain profitable, but now appear to be more willing to address workers' concerns.

Inflation is also worrying some experts.

The country's Central Bank Governor insisted on Tuesday that price rises seen so far this year remain relatively low, but acknowledged his officials were keeping a close eye on the inflation data.-(BBC)



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