China’s imports and exports grew in the first two months of this year after weakening toward the end of 2016. Exports rose 4 percent from a year earlier in January and February to $302.8 billion, rebounding from a 6.1 percent contraction in December, customs data showed Wednesday. Imports rose 26.4 percent to $260.6 billion, accelerating from December’s 3.1 percent growth. Analysts often look at January and February together to screen out the impact of the two-week Lunar New Year holiday, which begins on a different date each year. ”The latest trade data suggest that, seasonal distortions aside, both exports and imports strengthened at the start of 2017,” Julian Evans-Pritchard of Capital Economics said in a report. Last year, exports shrank by 7.7 percent. Weak global demand is a drag on Beijing’s efforts to nurture self-sustaining economic growth based on consumer spending instead of trade and investment. Those plans call for keeping exports steady to avoid job losses in industries that employ millions of people.