Cur­rent-ac­count sur­plus in rea­son­able range de­spite eco­nomic, trade con­cerns: SAFE

Global Times US Edition - - BIZUPDATE -

China’s cur­rent-ac­count sur­plus re­mained in “rea­son­able” range in the first quar­ter of the year, de­spite con­cerns stem­ming from a slow­ing econ­omy and es­ca­lat­ing trade ten­sions with the US, ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial data re­leased on Thurs­day.

The sur­plus was $49 bil­lion, down from $54.6 bil­lion in the fourth quar­ter of 2018, ac­cord­ing to data from the State Ad­min­is­tra­tion of For­eign Ex­change (SAFE).

Wang Chun­y­ing, chief econ­o­mist at the SAFE, said that China’s cur­rent-ac­count “re­mained in a rea­son­able sur­plus range, with in­creases in the trade sur­plus in goods and a de­cline in the trade deficit in ser­vices.”

In the quar­ter, China’s mer­chan­dise trade sur­plus reached $94.7 bil­lion, up 83 per­cent year-on-year, while the ser­vices deficit nar­rowed 14 per­cent to $63.4 bil­lion, ac­cord­ing to the SAFE.

That led to a cur­rent-ac­count bal­ance of about 1.5 per­cent of GDP, beat­ing a forecast in the IMF’S spring world eco­nomic out­look that pro­jected China’s cur­rent-ac­count bal­ance to be about 0.5 per­cent of GDP.

The IMF said that China’s cur­rent ac­count would show a deficit in 2022.

SAFE data also showed that China re­mained an at­trac­tive des­ti­na­tion for global in­vest­ment in the first quar­ter, as the coun­try’s non-re­serve fi­nan­cial ac­count posted a sur­plus of $48.8 bil­lion, with net in­bound for­eign di­rect in­vest­ment reach­ing $26.5 bil­lion.

“In 2019, as China con­tin­ues to push for high-qual­ity growth and all-round openingup, it will help fur­ther so­lid­ify the foun­da­tion for a sta­ble in­ter­na­tional bal­ance of pay­ments,” Wang said in a state­ment posted on the SAFE’S web­site on Thurs­day.

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