China trade surplus jumps to highest in 4 months
Beijing, May 10, 2011
China posted its biggest trade surplus in four months in April, swinging from a trade deficit in the first quarter, as senior Chinese and US officials sought to resolve disputes over trade and other policy differences.
The trade surplus of $11.4 billion, nearly four times greater than market expectations of $3 billion, could reignite fresh foreign criticism of Beijing's currency policy.
US manufacturers complain that China's management of the renminbi, also known as the yuan, give its producers an unfair trade advantage in global markets.
China's exports grew 29.9 percent in April from a year earlier, and imports increased by 21.8 percent, the customs agency said on Tuesday.
The median forecast of economists polled by Reuters last week was for exports to rise 29.4 percent and imports to grow 28 percent, resulting in a trade surplus of $3 billion.
US officials criticised China on Monday for its crackdown against dissidents but the world's two largest economic powers agreed on the need to work together to boost global growth at the start of two days of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
The meeting covering a range of economic and diplomatic issues are aimed at easing, if not resolve, their often tense policy differences.
China recorded a $1.02 billion trade deficit in the first quarter of the year -- the first quarterly trade deficit since 2004 -- as rising global commodity costs fuel import bills.
Some analysts project that higher import bills, along with the government's efforts to rebalance the economy in favour of boosting domestic demand, could cut China's trade surplus for the full-year.
Chinese officials hope a smaller trade surplus with the rest of the world could ease criticism from key trade partners that it has given exporters an unfair boost with a cheap currency. - Reuters