Did Trump Just Win the China Trade War?

Dwayne Harmon
January 23, 2019

The figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the low birth rates coupled with the slowdown of the Chinese economy raised concerns as the country faced demographic crisis with the population of above 60 years making 249 million, accounting for nearly 18 per cent of the total population.

"But the problem lies in consumption".

His renewed determination comes as China increasingly displays an eagerness to come to terms with the president, saying now it is willing to work to eradicate the trade imbalance that has tilted so lopsidedly in its favor over the years.

China's surveyed unemployment rate in urban areas stood at 4.9 per cent in December, 0.1 percentage point lower than that in December of the previous year.

Previous to knowing the official data on Monday, multiple analyzes on the causes of the discrete dynamism of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of China a year ago already circulated and put special emphasis on the effect of the trade war that the United States declared to it. This figure is the lowest since the first quarter of 2009.

Some China watchers believe actual growth is already weaker than official data suggest.

The newspaper Global Times ruled out a crisis and recalled that the country is immersed in a process where it abandons the export-dependent model and a enormous production that, although it pushed it to second place in the world, left a high environmental cost. Industrial output grew 5.7 percent in December from a year earlier, beating expectations of 5.3 percent. That's the slowest growth rate in 28 years.

China's economic growth fell to a three-decade low in 2018 as business activity lagged amid a tariff war with Washington.

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Growth in investment, retail sales and other indicators also slowed. The two countries have raised taxes on billions of dollars of each other's goods in the spat over the trade deficit, Beijing's manufacturing plans, and US complaints that China steals technology from foreign companies. Auto sales in the world's biggest vehicle market shrank for the first time since the 1990s.

Demand is weakening globally, not just in the United States.

But observers say the US-China trade war is now hitting consumer sentiment, as well as capital spending.

White House officials have given markedly different views on progress so far.

"Downward pressure on the economy is increasing", the commissioner of the National Bureau of Statistics, Ning Jizhe, said at a news conference.

Many Chinese media have predicted that the 2019 job market will be the "worst-ever employment season", according to the Global Times.

The government may unveil more fiscal stimulus during the annual parliament meeting in March, including bigger tax cuts and more spending on infrastructure projects. Much of it has gone into a construction boom of unprecedented proportions-by one estimate, from the start of 2012 until 2016, China used as much cement as the U.S. did in the entire 20th century.

Still, some analysts do not expect the economy to bottom out convincingly until summer.

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