The chart below shows the latest economic news in China in one graph, and has global markets a bit spooked yet again. Released Monday, March 10, it shows Chinese exports in February dropped 18%, which was far short of expectations of a 7% increase. Commodity prices were off quite a bit Monday on this news, and the Chinese equity market closed the day at its lowest point in nine months (while the S&P 500 continues its ascent to all-time highs.)

Some are blaming the sharp miss in February exports on the timing of Chinese Lunar New Year, but regardless of the driving cause, the numbers for March will be closely watched. China’s economic growth certainly appears to be slowing a bit, and all eyes continue to be on credit markets and how the central government is managing defaults, having allowed the first official payment default to occur last week.

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