Chinese exports surged for a third month in August.
Data out Monday (September 7) showed overseas shipments up by 9.5% on the year.
That was the fastest rate of growth in almost 18 months, and well ahead of analyst forecasts.
The gains come as overseas markets reopen.
They also suggest a more balanced recovery for China, which has so far seen a rebound driven more by domestic stimulus measures.
The country’s exports never actually fell as much as some had feared though.
Record shipments of medical products and robust demand for electronics kept many factories busy in the first half.
But Monday also saw a surprise fall in imports.
They dropped 2.1%, compared with forecasts of a modest rise.
Combined with the export gains, that drove China’s monthly trade surplus to almost 59 billion dollars, well above expectations.
Now economists say the outlook remains very uncertain.
Any resurgence in health worries, or an escalation in U.S.-China tensions, could see trade rattled again.