Chinese Exports Drop 4.4% in December

China’s exports unexpectedly fell the most in two years in December, while imports also contracted, pointing to further weakness in the world’s second-largest economy in 2019 and deteriorating global demand.

Adding to policymakers’ worries, data on Monday also showed China posted its biggest trade surplus with the United States on record in 2018, which could prompt President Donald Trump to turn up the heat on Beijing in their bitter trade dispute.

Softening demand in China is being felt around the world, with slowing sales of goods from iPhones to automobiles, prompting warnings from the likes of Apple and from Jaguar Land Rover, which last week announced sweeping job cuts.

The dismal December trade readings suggest China’s economy may have cooled faster than expected late in the year, despite a slew of growth-boosting measures in recent months ranging from higher infrastructure spending to tax cuts.

Some analysts had already speculated that Beijing may have to speed up and intensify its policy easing and stimulus measures this year after factory activity shrank in December.

via Reuters

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza