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China trade surplus hits $22.4 bln

China's trade surplus hit $22.4 billion (€16.7 billion) in May, data shows, marking a 73% on the same period last year.

The figure - close to February's $23.7 billion all-time high - beat forecasts. China's trade surplus has rocketed in recent years, with overseas sales of low cost Chinese consumer goods growing significantly, especially in the US. The data could fuel tensions with the US, where politicians accuse China of having an overly weak currency to boost exports.

They argue that the presence of cheaper goods in the shops for US consumers is outweighed by the harm caused to US firms. The latest figure puts the annual rate trade surplus at $216.7 billion, up from $207.3 billion in April. At current levels, the surplus could tip beyond $320 billion - marking a tenfold increase on 2004's level, said Capital Economics analyst Mark Williams, who said the trend was „astonishing”. (news.bbc.co.uk)