China Projects Trade Surplus to Hit $150B; Forex Reserves to Top $1 trillion

China's total trade surplus is expected to yet another record $150 billion this year, nearly 50% above the 2005 level, according to Commerce Ministry figures released on Friday. Exports this year are expected to total $960 billion, with imports rising to $810 billion, according to the official Xinhua News Agency. 

The Commerce Ministry earlier forecast a trade surplus of at least $140 billion this year. The trade surplus  was $102 billion in 2005. The expanding trade surplus has driven the country's foreign exchange reserves to over $980 billion -- the largest in the world -- and they are expected soon to top $1 trillion.

Earlier in the week, the government reported that China's monthly trade surplus hit a record monthly high of $23.8 billion in October, the fifth new monthly record this year. 

The Chinese government has let its currency, the yuan, rise by about 3% against the U.S. dollar over the past 16 months, which should help close the gap by making Chinese exports cost more, while imports are more attractive to Chinese consumers. But U.S. say Beijing is moving too slowly.

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