China's Exports Fell In December, But Trade Surplus With US Is Growing

The Chinese government announced that exports were down more than 4 percent last month, but its 2018 trade surplus with the U.S. was $323 billion.
Posted at 4:44 PM, Jan 14, 2019

China just announced a pretty big trade surplus with the U.S., despite seeing a decline in exports for December. 

The country's exports were down more than 4 percent last month, and several outlets report that it was China's worst month in two years. 

But Chinese officials say the country's 2018 trade surplus with the U.S. was $323 billion, which, according to Reuters, is the highest it's been in more than a decade. 

The new numbers come just after the latest round of trade talks between American and Chinese officials appear to have wrapped up last week on a positive note. 

The two countries have implemented tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other's goods in the past year, but they've agreed to a short-term trade truce.

On Monday, President Donald Trump echoed that optimistic attitude. 

"We're doing very well with China. They're having a hard time with their economy because of the tariffs. We're doing very well with our economy where it records —  our unemployment numbers just hit a record, another record," he said. "I think that we are going to be able to do a deal with China."

Economists say the latest data doesn't just highlight effects of the tariffs, but it also points to signs of economic stress

After a lot of growth, experts say China's facing an economic slowdown, with 2018 projected to have its slowest growth on record since 1990. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN