Australia's trade surplus came in much higher than expected in February, but that's likely a signal of economic weakness, not strength.
The trade surplus Down Under surged to 3.57 billion Australian dollars ($2.72 billion) in February, in seasonally adjusted terms, according to data released on Tuesday, well above the around A$1.8 billion forecast in a Reuters poll.
That surge appeared to be less due to exports, which rose 1 percent on-month, to A$32.4 billion in seasonally adjusted terms, and more due to imports, which dropped 5 percent on-month to A$28.83 billion, seasonally adjusted.
The data spurred the Australian dollar up to as high as $0.7614, up from levels as low as $0.7585 before the data.
Analysts weren't optimistic about what the trade surplus signalled for the economy.
"It's sort of good news, but it is a bit mixed," Felicity Emmett, senior economist at ANZ, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" on Tuesday. "Weakness in imports could actually suggest that there's some softening in momentum on domestic demand. So on the one hand, that's a bit concerning, but obviously the strength in exports is very positive. "