BEIJING -- China's export growth accelerated in January in a sign of resilient global demand while imports surged as factories stocked up before closing for the two-week Lunar New Year holiday.

Trade data on Thursday showed exports rose 11.1 percent to $200.5 billion, up from December's 10.9 percent growth. Exports surged 36.9 percent to $180.1 billion, up from the previous month's 4.5 percent.

Import growth was driven in part by demand from factories that are restocking before shutting down for the Lunar New Year holiday. The holiday falls at different times each year in January or February, distorting trade data.

Forecasters expect Chinese demand to weaken this year as Beijing tightens controls on lending to slow a rise in debt.