SHANGHAI: With three months of 2006 still to go, China has registered its highest ever annual trade surplus with the rest of the world - a massive $110 billion (€87.67bn; £59.24bn) - according to official data.

However, the September surplus of $15.3bn is down on the previous month when it hit an all-time high of $18.8bn.

And the downward trend looks set to continue, according to Xiao Minjie, an economist at Daiwa Institute of Research: "I think the trade surplus is likely to narrow to around $10bn next month. But the upward pressure on the yuan will persist."

The September figures indicate a 31% year-on-year increase in exports, while imports also rose by 22%. China's economy is currently expected to grow by more than 10% this year.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff