China posted a trade surplus of US$20.2 billion in May, down 10% year-on-year, state media reported. According to figures released by customs, exports rose 28.1% in May to US$120.49 billion and imports increased 40% to reach US$100.29 billion. The export growth rate was 0.6 percentage points lower than the same period of last year, while import growth was 20.9 percentage points higher. Total trade for the first five months of 2008 came to US$1.01 trillion, up 26.2% year-on-year. Faster appreciation in the yuan against the US dollar – which makes Chinese exports relatively more expensive and imports relatively cheaper – was said to be a major factor in narrowing the trade gap. China’s trade with the EU rose 27.9% to US$166.02 billion over the first five months. Trade with the US came to US$130.47 billion over the same period, up 13.3%.
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