Finally some good news: Chinese exports unexpectedly rise as concerns over a slowdown in the world's second largest economy linger

James Nickerson
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China's Gross Import And Export Value Amounts 19.93 Trillion Yuan In The First Ten Months
Exports rose by the largest amount since February in yuan-denominated terms (Source: Getty)

While fears over the state of the Chinese economy persist, some good news was delivered this morning, after Chinese exports defied expectations in December to rise.

Chinese exports rose 2.3 per cent in December from a year ago in yuan-denominated terms, against forecasts of a 4.1 per cent fall.

A weakening currency is thought to have helped aid the sector, with the renminbi depreciating 1.5 per cent against the US dollar in December, according to the Financial Times.

Read more: Five factors behind last week's Chinese stock turmoil

The 2.3 per cent climb in exports is the first time year-on-year exports have risen since June 2015, and represents the biggest jump since February.

Meanwhile, imports fell just four per cent in yuan-denoninated terms in December, against expectations of a 7.9 per cent tumble.

The positive economic data comes against a backdrop of concerns about a slowdown in China, which have been dragging global stock markets down.

Read more: Is China the greatest risk to the world economy in 2016?

"These improvements do appear to suggest that while the economy is slowing, things may not be nearly as bad as markets had been fretting about, and as such we look likely to see a positive open this morning in Europe, even if Chinese stock markets don’t appear to be basking in the improvement that much," said Michael Hewson, chief markets analyst at CMC Markets.

In US dollar terms, China's December exports also exceeded analysts expectations. Exports fell 1.4 per cent compared to a year ago, while imports fell 7.6 per cent compared to a year ago. That compares to expectations of a fall of eight per cent for exports and 11.5 per cent for imports, according to a Reuters poll of analysts.

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