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China snaps five-month export decline in upbeat sign for economy

Surprise rebound saw stronger demand for electric vehicles and lithium batteries

A container ship is docked at Tianjin port: China's trade picture is being closely watched in the midst of a stumbling recovery for the world's No. 2 economy.   © AP

SHANGHAI -- China unexpectedly snapped a five-month export decline in March, giving its beleaguered economy a fresh boost but analysts warned that unsteady overseas demand and geopolitical tensions could stall a recovery.

A pickup in orders for cars, steel, textiles and clothing sparked a 14.8% jump in shipments overseas to $315.5 billion, defying expectations for another decline after orders from some of China's key trading partners slumped late last year.

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