China has a hefty trade surplus in April as exports hit a record – up 30 percent on a year ago – while imports eased more than expected.
China exported just under eight billion euros worth more goods that it imported – that is four times greater than economists had predicted.
Imports climbed 21.8 percent, well short of estimates. The weaker than expected imports could be because China’s central bank tightening monetary policy to counter inflation.
The surplus was announced as China held high-level economic and strategic talks in Washington and the data showed China’s trade surplus with the United States swelled 16 percent to its widest since November.
That will provide fresh ammunition to those US lawmakers who have linked the trade imbalance to China’s currency policy, saying a weak yuan gives Chinese manufacturers an unfair advantage in global markets and costs American jobs.
China’s trade numbers also registered an impact from Japan’s earthquake and subsequent nuclear crisis. Imports from Japan were down 14.9 percent in April from March, as production and shipments were interrupted.