Chinese exports strong in August

China’s exports rose more than expected in August, adding to hopes that the world’s second biggest economy may be recovering from its recent slump.

Shipments rose 7.2% during the month, from a year earlier. Most analysts had expected a figure closer to 5.5%.

The numbers come just days after data showed that manufacturing activity in China hit a 16-month high in August.

The export and manufacturing sectors are key drivers of China’s economy – which has seen slower growth recently.

Analysts said the latest data indicated that growth was starting to pick up.

“China’s August trade sustained the upward trend seen since July, in line with accelerating growth momentum and improving market sentiment,” Liu Li-Gang and Zhou Hao, economists at ANZ said in a note.

They added that the figures pointed to an “upside bias in the third quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth”.