Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

China's annual Central Economic Work Conference (CEWC) that sets the overall direction for the next year's economic policies just concluded in Beijing.

Why it matters: The signals from this meeting suggest, among other things, increased efforts to stimulate the economy and work out a trade deal with the U.S.

Caixin has the detailsTop Economic Meeting Ends With Pledges of ‘Greater’ Tax Cuts, ‘Reasonably Ample’ Liquidity:

"The leaders pledged to cut taxes and fees “on a greater scale,” increase the issuance of special-purpose local government bonds by “a relatively large margin,” and strike a balance between monetary tightening and easing to ensure “reasonably ample liquidity,” as they promised to continue to take measures to address the financing difficulties faced by private and small companies. The measures are part of official efforts to “strengthen counter-cyclical policy adjustments,” which refers to government support to boost economic growth, according to Xinhua. Proceeds from sales of special-purpose local government bonds are often used to fund infrastructure investment, a key driver of economic expansion."
"They noted that the world is facing a “once-in-a-century” change that entails both crisis and opportunities. They urged the nation to “turn crisis into opportunities” by improving its technology and innovation capabilities, deepening reforms and opening up further, participating in global economic governance system overhaul, and speeding up a transition to high-quality growth, the report said."

My thought bubble: The Chinese economy is struggling, the debt mess is unresolved and the impact from the U.S. tariffs has barely begun. There are obvious downside risks but there is also the risk of being too bearish going into 2019.

  • The Communist Party will do everything it can to juice the economy and the message out of this meeting appears to confirm that multiple forms of stimuli will be forthcoming. Whether or not significant economic reforms will now also be forthcoming, and not just more promises, is the trillion dollar question.

Go deeper: China Pledges More Stimulus in 2019 as Economy Seeks Bottom —Bloomberg and the official English-language readout from Xinhua

Go deeper

1 hour ago - World

U.S. policy shift will allow taxpayer funding for projects in West Bank settlements

Friedman (L) with Netanyahu. Photo: Menahem Kahana/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel will announce tomorrow that they are expanding three agreements on scientific cooperation to include Israeli settlements in the West Bank, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: This is a substantial policy shift for the U.S., which did not previously allow its taxpayers' money to be spent in the Israeli settlements.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

McConnell: Confirming Amy Coney Barrett will help GOP retain Senate

Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed no regrets about Judge Amy Coney Barrett's controversial confirmation, telling Politico in an interview that he believes the decision to place her on the Supreme Court just a week before the election will help Republicans retain the Senate.

Why it matters: With a week to go until Election Day, many Republicans are concerned that President Trump's unpopularity could cost them the Senate. McConnell has long viewed the transformation of the federal judiciary through the confirmation of young conservative judges as his defining legacy.