China's slowing forex reserves growth 'desirable'

Updated: 2012-10-15 13:45


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BEIJING -- Experts said the slowed growth of China's foreign exchange reserves since the end of last year is conducive to relieving the yuan's appreciation pressure and is thus desirable for China.

The People's Bank of China said in a statement that the country's foreign exchange reserves, the world's largest stockpile, rose to $3.29 trillion at the end of September from $3.24 trillion at the end of June.

The September figure grew 2.76 percent over that at the end of the same month last year, but it was dwarfed by the 20.9-percent year-on-year growth seen in September 2011.

Zhao Qingming, a financial expert with the University of International Business and Economics, said the slowing of foreign reserve growth is desirable, as it will reduce appreciation pressure for the yuan and maintain a relatively stable exchange rate.

China's foreign exchange reserves had maintained strong, double-digit growth since 2001, driven by galloping economic growth, a trade surplus and booming foreign direct investment.

In October 2006, the figure crossed the threshold of $1 trillion for the first time. The figure exceeded $2 trillion in April 2009 and hit the 3-trillion mark in March 2011.

However, year-on-year growth has dropped sharply since December 2011 due to slowing economic growth and the government's measures to steer toward more balanced trade.

Zhao forecast that the country's foreign reserves will see small fluctuations in the future instead of the constant rapid growth seen in the past decade.