China is signaling that it is worried about its economy.
Troubled by slowing growth, persistent debt problems and President Trump’s trade war, the Chinese government has taken steps in recent months to shore up its economy. It has pared back a high-profile campaign to tackle debt. It has restarted big infrastructure projects, a traditional economic engine. It has even censored bad economic news.
On Sunday, Beijing went one step further.
The People’s Bank of China, the central bank, pulled a financial lever that will effectively pump $175 billion into the economy. The government is aiming to help small and midsize businesses in particular, which have had trouble obtaining loans and face other rising pressures.
The move signals that China’s economy “is really not doing well,” Chen Shouhong, the founder of the investment information platform Gelonghui, wrote on WeChat, a popular Chinese social media service.
The growing trade war with the United States has been the most visible threat. In September, the United States imposed tariffs on $200 billion in goods from China. President Trump has shown little inclination to back off and relations between the two countries have cooled, suggesting the trade war could worsen before it gets better.