Trade Surplus Surges Again

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China’s politically-charged trade surplus hit US$14.5 billion in June, according to a report in Yahoo news (via That compares with US$13 billion in May, and brings the surplus for the first half of the year to US$61.45 billion, up 54.9 percent. The figures for June included:

    • Exports up 23.3 percent year-on-year to US$81.31 billion
    • Imports up 18.9 percent year-on-year to US$66.81 billion

For the first half the figures were:

    • Exports up 25.2 percent to US$428.59 billion dollars
    • Imports up 21.3 percent at US$367.15 billion dollars

The report also quotes Qu Hongbin, an economist with HSBC in Hong Kong, who forecasts a surplus of around US$120 billion for the whole year, similar to a government estimate I reported in June (see here).

Whatever the exact figures (and there are doubts about their accuracy), China will likely face increased pressure for significant appreciation of the RMB from the US (and the new Treasure Secretary, Hank Paulson) and elsewhere if the surplus continues to grow at this rate. But don’t expect the US to help matters by relaxing export controls on high-tech products to China – an action that would help redress the balance of trade, but which remains unlikely in the current political climate.

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3 Responses to “Trade Surplus Surges Again”

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