China's trade surplus almost doubled in the first quarter, adding to friction as the U.S. takes complaints against its second-largest trading partner to the World Trade Organization.
The surplus widened to $46.4 billion from $23.3 billion a year earlier, the customs bureau said on its Web site today. The March gap was $6.87 billion, smaller than economists expected.
Chinese businesses rushed to sell products overseas in January and February in anticipation of government measures to slow exports and because of protectionist sentiment abroad, said Wang Qing, an economist at Bank of America Corp. in Hong Kong.
WOW -- just, wow.
That is one powerful headline. This will do an awful lot to increase protectionist sentiment in the US. Some of this is warranted, especially in light of China's $1 trillion in dollar reserves held by its central bank. That is a pretty good indication the yuan is a touch undervalued in the marketplace.