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Former U.S. President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a state arrival ceremony on the south lawn of the White House grounds September 25, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Win McNamee | Getty Images News | Getty Images

Former U.S. President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a state arrival ceremony on the south lawn of the White House grounds September 25, 2015 in Washington, DC.

China has been violating an agreement with the United States aimed at stopping cyber espionage through the hacking of government and corporate data, a senior U.S. intelligence official said on Thursday.

When asked if China was violating the 2015 agreement between then President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, National Security Agency official Rob Joyce said: “We think they are.”

But he added that the quantity and number of attacks had dropped “dramatically” since the agreement.

“While it’s not black and white, (China) met the agreement or they didn’t meet the agreement, it’s clear that they are well beyond the bounds today of the agreement that was forged between our countries,” Joyce said.

In September 2015, Obama announced he had reached a “common understanding” with Xi on curbing economic cyber espionage, but threatened to impose U.S. sanctions on Chinese hackers who persist in committing cyber crimes.

The two leaders said they agreed that neither government would knowingly support cyber theft of corporate secrets or business information.

The agreement, however, stopped short of any promise to refrain from traditional government-to-government cyber spying for intelligence purposes.

That could include the massive hack of the U.S. federal government’s personnel office this year that compromised the data of more than 20 million people. U.S. officials have traced that back to China, but have not said whether they believe the Chinese government was responsible.

The United States and China will hold a delayed top-level security dialogue on Friday, the latest sign of a thaw in the countries’ strained relations amid an ongoing trade row ahead of a planned meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi at the Group of 20 summit meeting in Argentina at the end of November.

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Trump says he called OPEC and told cartel to bring fuel prices down

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President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs for travel to Indianapolis, Indiana from the White House in Washington, U.S., April 26, 2019.

Jonathan Ernst | Reuters

President Donald Trump talks to reporters as he departs for travel to Indianapolis, Indiana from the White House in Washington, U.S., April 26, 2019.

President Donald Trump on Friday said he “called up” OPEC and told the producer group to take action to bring down fuel costs, making a dubious claim that gasoline prices are already falling.

“The gasoline prices are coming down. I called up OPEC. I said, ‘You’ve got to bring them down. You’ve got to bring them down, and gasoline’s coming down,” Trump told reporters en route to a National Rifle Association event in Indianapolis.

It was not immediately clear whether Trump meant that he had contacted the OPEC Secretariat in Vienna, or whether he was referring to OPEC members and close U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In fact, the national average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $2.883 per gallon, up from $2.877 a day ago and $2.839 a week ago. Wholesale U.S. gasoline prices have ticked lower in recent days, but are still up 10.7% from a week ago and

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Oil's recent price surge won't last, economists predict

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Sluggish global growth and an increase in U.S. output both signal the end of the recent rally in oil prices, economic research consultancy Capital Economics has suggested.

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US GDP grows by 3.2% in the first quarter

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The U.S. economy grew at a faster pace than expected in the first quarter and posted its best growth to start a year in six years.

First-quarter GDP expanded by 3.2% in the first quarter, the Bureau of Economic Analysis said in its initial read of the economy for that period. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected the U.S. economy increased by 2.5% in the first quarter. It was the first time since 2013 that first-quarter GDP topped 3%.

Exports rose 3.7% in the first quarter, while imports decreased by 3.7%. Economic growth also got a lift from strong investments in intellectual property products. Those investments expanded by 8.6%.

“The upside beat was helped by net trade (exports jumped while imports contracted sharply) and inventories which combined contributed almost 170 bps of the rise,” wrote Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group. “Personal spending though, the biggest component was up just 1.2%, two tenths more than expected as an increase in spending on services and nondurable goods offset a decline in spending on durable goods.”

Disposable personal income increased by 3%, while prices increased by 1.3% when excluding food and energy. Overall prices climbed by 0.8% in the first quarter.

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