BEIJING (Reuters) – Chinas February exports grew at a record pace from a year previously when COVID-19 battered the worlds second-biggest economy, customizeds data revealed on Sunday, while imports rose less sharply.FILE PHOTO: Cranes and containers are seen at the Yantian port in Shenzhen, following the unique coronavirus illness (COVID-19) break out, Guangdong province, China May 17, 2020. REUTERS/Martin PollardExports in dollar terms increased 154.9% in February compared to a year previously, while imports got 17.3%, the most since October 2018. The data did not include figures for January alone.In the January-February duration, exports jumped 60.6% from a year previously, when lockdowns to include the pandemic paralysed the countrys economic activity. That went beyond the forecast of analysts in a Reuters poll for a 38.9% surge.Strong exports, which took advantage of Chinas success in largely including the public health crisis, have actually helped fuel the countrys recovery from a pandemic-induced paralysis.The surge was driven by a rebound in foreign need, customs said in a statement on its site, mentioning improvements in producing industries in the European Union and the United States, and their increased imports of Chinese products thanks to financial stimulus measures.” In addition, a majority of making employees (in China) chose to sit tight over the Lunar New Year vacations,” the declaration said. “Our survey revealed a great deal of companies in export-oriented provinces stayed open, and orders that usually only get provided after the new year had been provided generally.” Chinese factory activity typically goes dormant throughout the Lunar New Year break, which fell in the middle of February this year, as workers go back to their hometowns. This year, the federal government interested workers to prevent travelling to suppress the threat of a spread of the coronavirus.In January-February, imports increased 22.2% from a year previously, above the 15% projection, partially due to stockpiling of semiconductors and energy items, according to customs.China published a trade surplus of $103.25 billion for the very first 2 months. Analysts had expected the trade surplus to narrow to $60.15 billion from $78.17 billion in December. NORMAL YEARS In yuan terms, exports increased 50.1% in the two months from a year earlier, while imports gained 14.5%.” Due to the effect of the new coronavirus, total trade (in yuan terms) in January-February in 2015 fell 9.7%, and the low base was among the reasons for the bigger boost this year,” custom-mades stated. “But even when compared with normal years, such as the comparable durations in 2018 and 2019, development in Chinas overall trade was around 20%.” Chinas economy expanded 2.3% last year, assisted by solid demand for Chinese-made goods such as work-from-home and medical equipment, although the development was its weakest in 44 years.This year, China has set a modest development target of at least 6%, preparing a cautious course out of a year interrupted by COVID-19 and amid heightened stress with the United States.Chinas trade surplus with the United States stood at $51.26 billion in January-February. Chinese customizeds did not provide a month-to-month breakdown. The surplus was $29.92 billion in December.Katherine Tai, President Joe Bidens nominee to be U.S. trade agent, said last week she would work to combat a series of “unfair” Chinese trade and economic practices.Reporting by Stella Qiu and Ryan Woo; Additional reporting by Colin Qian; Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa and William Mallard