China posted stronger than expected trade figures for December, in a further sign that the world's second-largest economy continues to recover from its worst slowdown in years.
Official data released Thursday showed export growth more than quadrupled from the previous month to 14.1 percent. December imports increased 6 percent after after failing to grow at all in November.
Despite the improvements in December, the figures showed that China missed its 10 percent growth target for trade in 2012.
The Commerce Ministry predicted last month that trade will improve only "slightly" in 2013, citing weak external demand caused by the global economic slowdown.
China is slowly emerging from its worst economic downturn since the 2008 global financial crisis. Most analysts say the recovery will be shaky, but that China will likely avoid a so-called "hard-landing."