"I think the Chinese New Year effect only explains part of the story," Zhang Zhiwei, chief China economist at Nomura in Hong Kong, told Reuters. "After controlling for the Chinese New Year, the numbers are still very strong and show the economic recovery is on track."
It appears that investors bought the argument hook, line, and sinker, and lifted stock prices in Australia, as well as South Korea, despite some pressure to take profits from the region ahead of the week's Lunar New Year lull.
Global markets have seen a rise in anticipation of the surge of Chinese export growth, and see it as a signal of the recovering demand that has been found in the United States and European Union, following their respective scares.
The easing of China's possible inflation was also a noted factor. The forecast had been 2% in the Reuters poll.
China's year-on-year exports saw a growth to the United States of nearly 15%, and was the strongest in nearly a year. The rise in European Union exports was at 5.2%, which was a 13-month high.
Exports for the neighboring economies of China, including the Association of Southeast Asian National catapulted to a 48.5% gain against the January 2012 numbers, and that increase was worth $20.1 billion.
Imports also improved heavily, and according to Chinese economists like Tao Wang, it points to a healthy and expanding economy.
"It seems to me that imports were particularly strong and that reflects two things: one is that the domestic demand, in particular investment demand, is very strong. The second thing is that it seems that companies are restocking ahead of the Chinese New Year and ahead of the peak season in March and April," she said.
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