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Economic roundup: China crowned top trader, Target security breach swells, employment numbers confuse

by AirTalk

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The Chinese flag is seen in front of a view of the moon at Tiananmen Square in Beijing on December 13, 2013. Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

China has long been a major exporter on the world market, but its increase in imports in 2013 add up to the country usurping the U.S. as the biggest trader of goods in the world, according to the Financial Times and figures released by Beijing.

The country's annual trade topped $4 trillion - despite its export growth slowing through last year. The new figures come after billionaire investor George Soros warned last week that China’s future is the “major uncertainty” facing the global economy.

On the flipside, one uncertainty facing China is consumer behavior in the U.S. New employment numbers out today are not inspiring huge confidence. While preliminary data shows a welcome decrease in unemployment from 7 percent in November to 6.7 percent in December, analysts say a major driver was the number of Americans who stopped looking for work.

New jobs showed just a slight uptick of 74,000 jobs added last month.Why don't the job numbers match optimism from economists of late? What fed China's growth in trade last year? And what are the reverberations of its new position?

Guests: 

Phillip Izzo, economics reporter at the Wall Street Journal

William Yu, economist that specializes on Chinese trade issues at the UCLA Anderson Forecast, which provides economic analysis for business, government and the academic community

 

 

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