Beijing — China’s exports are likely to have contracted in February after a surprise bounce in January, while imports fell for a third straight month, a Reuters poll showed, heightening anxiety over whether Washington and Beijing can resolve deep differences over trade. China’s exports in February are expected to have fallen 4.8% from a year earlier, according to the median estimate of 32 economists, following a 9.1% rise in January. Such a drop would be the biggest since December 2016, and suggests a further weakening in global demand. Imports in February are expected to have fallen 1.4% from a year earlier, compared with the previous month’s 1.5% decline. Stronger-than-expected imports could prompt some China watchers to say the economy is showing signs of bottoming out in response to a string of stimulus measures in 2018. But most analysts typically caution that China’s data early in the year can be highly distorted by the timing of the Lunar New Year holidays, when some business...

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