SAFE Official Answers Press Questions on Foreign Exchange Reserves for September 2017
Q: The latest data on foreign exchange reserves disseminated by the People's Bank of China show China's foreign exchange reserves as at the end of September 2017 went up by USD 17 billion month on month. Could you brief us on the causes behind such a change?
A: As at the end of September, China posted USD 3.1085 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, up by USD 17 billion or 0.5% month on month, marking the eighth consecutive month of increases. In September, China's cross-border capital flows and trading behaviors of domestic and foreign market participants were further stabilized and balanced. In global financial markets, major exchange rates and asset prices went through ups and downs, and the overall foreign exchange reserve investments rose, boosting foreign exchange reserves to pick up.
In the first three quarters, China's foreign exchange reserves bottomed out in January 2017 and recorded increases for the eighth-straight month in September, representing the longest period for continuous increases since June 2014. The foreign exchange reserves as at the end of September rose by USD 98 billion or 3.3% from the beginning of 2017, while those for the same period of the previous year fell by USD 164 billion. Overall, the supply and demand in the domestic foreign exchange market have found an equilibrium, non-USD currencies appreciate against US dollars in the global financial markets, and asset prices rise. All of these have contributed to the recovery of foreign exchange reserves.
Q: What would you say about the recovery of China's foreign exchange reserves for the eighth-straight month? What will be the future trends of foreign exchange reserves?
A: Since the very beginning of this year, China's economic and financial performance have stayed stable with a good momentum for growth, providing a fundamental guarantee for the continued and stable recovery of China's foreign exchange reserves. In the first three quarters, China's economy grew within a reasonable range, its structural adjustment was deepened, and quality and benefit kept rising, indicating its economy is stable with a good momentum for growth. The RMB exchange rate recorded two-way fluctuations and grew while maintaining stability, the cross-border capital flows were stable and orderly, and the balance of payments was basically balanced. All of these have facilitated the stable recovery of foreign exchange reserves.
Going forward, as the domestic economy remains stable with a good momentum for growth, the reform and opening up goes deeper, and market expectations become further stabilized, China will see a more solid foundation for stable cross-border capital flows. As the three tasks, namely, finance serving the real economy, guarding against financial risks and deepening the financial reform, are pressed ahead with in an orderly manner, China's economy and finance will achieve benign circulation and healthy development, which will continue to promote the equilibrium and stability in the balance of payments and foreign exchange reserves.