China Trade Surplus Soars in May

Exports totaled $131.8 billion in May, up 48.5%.

China's trade surplus soared in May from the previous month on strong demand for Chinese-made clothes and electronics, which analysts say could increase pressure on Beijing to let its currency strengthen.

The data came after U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday vowed to launch legislative action in two weeks to punish China for refusing to revalue the yuan, claiming the currency is undervalued and gives the nation an unfair trade advantage.

China posted a trade surplus of US$19.53 billion in May, compared with a trade surplus of $1.68 billion in April and a deficit posted in March -- the first in six years.

Exports totaled $131.8 billion in May, up 48.5% from the same month a year earlier, customs authorities said.

Imports gained 48.3% year-on-year to $112.2 billion.

"Strong export growth and a sharp pickup in China's trade surplus will not go unnoticed in Washington," said Brian Jackson, a senior analyst at Royal Bank of Canada in Hong Kong.

"With U.S. unemployment still close to 10% and Chinese exports now growing at a rate of almost 50%, it is likely that the rhetoric on this issue coming out of Washington will soon get more heated."

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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