BEIJING (AP) -- China's foreign reserves, already the world's largest, rose to $1.8 trillion at the end of May but growth slowed, a government newspaper reported Friday.
The reserves grew by $40.3 billion in May, well below the April increase of $75 billion, the China Securities Journal said, citing data from the State Administration of Foreign Exchange. The agency publicly announces its reserves only four times a year, and the next report is due out in July.
The reserves have grown sharply as Beijing drains money from the fast-growing economy through bond sales to reduce pressure for prices to rise. China's bulging trade surplus has sent a flood of cash coursing through the economy, increasing the urgency of controlling the growth of the money supply.
The trade surplus eased slightly in May to $20.2 billion, down 10 percent from the same month last year. That reduced pressure for the government to shift money to the reserves.
Japan has the world's second-largest reserves at $970 billion as of the end of May.
China keeps most of its reserves in U.S. Treasury securities and other safe but low-yielding instruments. The government created a $200 billion investment fund last year to pursue more profitable investments.