What Happened: Chinese exports fell by 3.2 percent in September year on year, marking their largest drop since February, the South China Morning Post reported Oct. 14.
Why It Matters: An 8.5 percent decline in imports showcased weakening domestic demand, putting China's trade surplus at $39.65 billion for September. At the same time, the ongoing trade war also weighed on Chinese trade data, with exports to the United States dropping 21.9 percent to $36.5 billion, while U.S. imports fell 20.5 percent over the previous year.
Background: China and the United States reached a "phase one" trade deal on Oct. 11, delaying U.S. tariff increases on $250 billion of Chinese goods that were scheduled for Oct. 15.
- U.S., China: The Path Beyond a 'Phase One' Trade Deal Is as Tenuous as Ever (Oct. 12, 2019)
- U.S., China: A Sign of Hope for Renewed Trade Talks (Sept. 12, 2019)
- Trump Looks to Open Another Front in the Trade War With China (Aug. 27, 2019)