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Trade

China exports soar amid easing inflation

New figures from China have indicated the Asian country is back in a phase of accelerated growth. Both exports and imports have jumped in recent weeks, while inflation pressures have eased for the time being.

Chinese January exports rose by a solid 25 percent, while imports soared 28.8 percent in the first month of the year, the General Administration of Customs said in a statement on Friday.

Analysts said the figures added to recent evidence the world's second-largest economy was finally emerging from a drawn-out downtrend.

"These data suggest that external and domestic demand are both strong, which supports our view that the economy is on track for a cyclical recovery in the first half of the new year," Nomura International economist Zhang Zhiwei told AFP news agency.

Factory orders up

As the trade surplus rose by 7.7 percent in January, inflation in China slowed to just 2 percent in the same month, the National Bureau of Statistics reported, pointing to an easing of consumer prices from a seven-month peak of 2.5 percent in December 2012.

Manufacturing activity in China was reported to be on the tear in January, with the purchasing mangers' index hitting a two-year high of 52.3 points as measured by a closely-watched monthly HSBC survey.

However, analysts pointed to the potential risks in overseas demand, with much of the developed world still grappling with economic doldrums.

hg/dr (AP, dpa)