China exports jump in May, putting focus back on yuan

Image caption,
China's imports also rose faster than expected.

Chinese exports jumped 48.5% in May from a year ago, figures show, faster than analysts had expected.

The surprising speed of the recovery in China's exports - and its trade surplus - will support arguments that the country should allow its currency, the yuan, to appreciate.

China has pegged its currency to the dollar since the 2008 financial crisis, earning sharp criticism in the US.

Imports rose 48.3% year-on-year, also stronger than expected.

International criticism of China's yuan policy has cooled in recent months.

In April, US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner postponed a report that was expected to accuse China of being a "currency manipulator", opening the way for trade sanctions.

Since then, the weakening euro has also taken pressure off China.

Europe is China's biggest export market - bigger even than the US - and the fall in the single currency is expected to cool European demand for Chinese exports.

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