Summary Box: China's January Exports Surge

SIGN OF DEMAND: China's exports surged in January in a sign of rebounding global demand, and its politically sensitive trade surplus fell to a nine-month low.

THE NUMBERS: China's global trade surplus fell 55 percent from a year earlier to $6.5 billion. Exports soared 37.7 percent - more than double December's rate - to $150.7 billion, while China's strong domestic demand drove import growth of 53.5 percent to $144.3 billion.

THE BACKGROUND: Critics say China's currency controls keep its yuan undervalued, giving its exporters an unfair price advantage and hurting foreign competitors by making their goods more expensive in the Chinese market. The January trade data could help alleviate foreign pressure on Beijing to allow its currency to rise.