China’s latest trade data is bad. According to China’s General Administration of Customs, exports fell 4.4 percent in December 2018 year-on-year, while imports fell 7.6 percent. Imports and exports both increased overall in 2018 by 7.1 and 12.9 percent respectively, but the fact that they tapered off suggests U.S. tariffs are taking a toll on the economy. Also notable are car sales, which declined for the first time since 1990. In response to the news, a top official from the People’s Bank of China tried to smooth things over, saying that China’s economy would stabilize in the first quarter of 2019 before it warmed back up in the second half of the year. And China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange announced that foreign-exchange quotas for overseas investors in the stock market would be immediately doubled, no doubt to encourage foreign capital inflows to China’s struggling economy. Those won’t be the last statements or policy measures China issues as it attempts
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