China Dec trade beats forecasts: exports up 7.6%, imports up 16.3%

BEIJING, Jan 14 (Reuters) - China's exports in December rose 7.6% from a year earlier, customs data showed on Tuesday, signalling a modest recovery in demand as a preliminary trade deal with the United States raised hopes that a prolonged tariff war will be de-escalated.

It was the first time China's exports have risen since March 2019.

The median forecast from a Reuters poll of analysts had been for a 3.2% rise in exports in December, following November's 1.3% drop.

Imports in December rose 16.3% from a year earlier. The Reuters poll had forecast 9.6% growth.

China posted a trade surplus of $46.79 billion in December, compared with the poll's forecast for a $48-billion surplus, up from November's surplus of $37.93 billion. (Reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by Kim Coghill)