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China's trade surplus hits new record
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China's trade surplus surged 47.7 percent over a year earlier to reach a record 262.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2007, the General Administration of Customs said Friday.


The administration also pointed out the country's soaring trade surplus eased a bit in the fourth quarter last year, with imports catching up and exports slowing down.


The trade surplus growth was 69.4 percent for the first three quarters of this year and up to 75 percent in 2006.


In 2007, export rose 25.7 percent to 1.22 trillion U.S. dollars, and imports climbed 20.8 percent to 955.8 billion U.S. dollars, the administration said.


The export growth was 1.5 percentage points lower than in 2006, while the import growth posted a gain of 0.9 percentage points.


The December trade surplus was 22.69 billion U.S. dollars, down 14.2 percent from the previous month.


The total foreign trade hit a new high of 2.17 trillion U.S. dollars last year, up 23.5 percent from a year earlier, according to the administration.


A report of the China Customs Statistics said the country's foreign trade registered a downward trend in October as the country's efforts to curb exports paid off.


However, it also pointed out that the impact of the U.S. sub-mortgage crisis should not be overlooked.


"The hangover of the U.S. sub-mortgage crisis could be a key negative factor in China's trade sector in 2008," Zhuang Jian, a senior economist of the Asian Development Bank, told Xinhua.


The United States remained China's second largest trading partner with the bilateral trade volume standing at 302.08 billion U.S. dollars last year, up 15 percent compared with the same period in 2006, according to the customs administration.


The European Union was still the largest trading partner, and Japan the third largest. Trade with the EU rose 27 percent year-on-year to 356.15 billion U.S. dollars, and that with Japan reached 236.02 billion U.S. dollars, up 13.9 percent.


The country's trade surplus for 2006 stood at 177.47 billion U.S. dollars.


(Xinhua News Agency January 11, 2008)

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