By  on January 10, 2012

BEIJING — China’s politically problematic trade surplus narrowed again last year, marking the lowest level in six years, according to government data released today.

Despite what might seem good news for China’s trade partners, the commerce numbers also indicated that domestic consumption, a factor critical to China’s promise to slash the surplus, may be on the decline. The annual trade data were released just hours before U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner arrived in Beijing for talks on currency and other trade issues.

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