BEIJING- China's exports during the January-February period rose 7.1% year-on-year, while imports increased 3.5%, with both figures beating forecasts, customs data showed on Thursday.

A Reuters poll of economists had forecast exports to increase by 1.9%, after outbound shipments grew 2.3% in December, and imports to expand by 1.5%, compared with 0.2% growth a month prior.

China posted a trade surplus of $125.16 billion in January-February, compared with a $103.7 billion surplus expected in the poll.

(Reporting by Joe Cash; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)