China's trade surplus rose to a record $27.05 billion last month, up 13.5% over last year despite a 25.5% balloon in imports, Bloomberg reports. The number lagged forecasts, raising the possibility that new trade policies are gaining traction, Reuters reports. US and EU officials will travel to China within weeks to push for faster appreciation of what they call an undervalued yuan.
China’s European exports have increased twice as quickly as those to the US this year. Its trade surplus with the US is $15.4 billion, compared with Europe's $13.9 billion. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson "will continue to face pressure from the US Congress to persuade China to allow a freer exchange rate," says one economist.