China Trade Surplus Hits $18.8 Billion

Just days before a key international meeting where the country's currency and trade practices could be in focus, China's trade surplus hit a monthly record of $18.8 billion in August, state media said Sept. 11. In the first eight months of the year, the accumulated surplus hit $95.7 billion.

China's previous record was in July when a $14.6 billion surplus was recorded, up from $14.5 billion in June.

The gains continue build on the momentum of the fast growing economy and after China's trade surplus increased more than three-fold to $101.9 billion in 2005. China's soaring trade surplus has been an engine of growth at home but a source of complaints abroad as U.S. and European officials have argued it has been fueled by an undervalued Chinese currency.

For the first eight months of the year, China's overall trade increased 23.9% to more than $1.1 trillion.The China Business News reported Sept. 11 that exports in the month soared 32.8% to $90.77 billion from a year ago, with imports up 24.6% at $71.97 billion.

The data were released ahead of a key meeting of international finance ministers and central bankers in Singapore this week that is likely to see renewed calls for China to step up the pace of currency reform and allow the yuan to appreciate.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

TAGS: Trade
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