China's monthly trade surplus jumped 16.4 percent in June to $31.6 billion, official data showed Thursday, as exports and imports both rose in the latest sign of strength in the world's second-largest economy.
Exports increased 7.2 percent to $186.8 billion year-on-year, the General Administration of Customs announced, while imports gained 5.5 percent to $155.2 billion.
But the trade surplus fell short of the median forecast of $36.9 billion in a survey of 21 economists by The Wall Street Journal.
Exports, which accelerated slightly from May's gain of 7.0 percent, fell well short of the median prediction of a 10.0 percent rise.
Imports, which fell 1.6 percent in May, rebounded to surpass the median forecast of a 5.4 percent increase.
China's trade statistics this year have been erratic, with Beijing reporting an unexpected trade deficit of almost $23 billion in February, which authorities blamed on the Lunar New Year holiday season. That was China's first monthly deficit in 11 months.
And in March, China's trade volumes fell dramatically in a development that analysts blamed on the continued impact of fake over-reporting of exports seen in early 2013.
For the first six months of this year, China's trade surplus declined 4.4 percent to $102.86 billion, as exports rose 0.9 percent to $1.06 trillion and imports gained 1.5 percent to $960 billion, Customs said.