The flow of imports and exports from the province of Guangdong grew more slowly than trade flows in China as a whole in the first four months of 2008, the South China Morning Post reported. Guangdong’s trade flow during the period grew by 14% year-on-year, compared to a national rise of 24.4%. A rising yuan, increased costs of raw materials, a weakening US economy, the new labor contract law and stricter environmental policies all contributed to the lag. The value of Guangdong’s imports and exports rose to US$207.38 billion between January and April, accounting for 26.2% of China’s total trade flows. The province’s foreign trade surplus during the period was US$31.88 billion.