world growth

world growth

Monday, December 22, 2008

China FX reserves see first fall in years

BEIJING, Dec 22 (Reuters) - China's foreign exchange reserves have fallen for the first time since late 2003 as a result of the global financial crisis, an official with the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said.

China's foreign exchange reserves stood at $1.906 trillion at the end of September.

"(The) foreign exchange reserves have already fallen for the first time since December 2003," Cai Qiusheng, an official with SAFE's capital account management department, told a forum on Saturday.

"Calculated on a month-on-month basis, their highest level was over $1.9 trillion, but they are now definitely lower than that figure," Cai said, according to a transcript of the remarks published on the web portal

Cai did not give a specific timeframe for the fall in reserves or a figure for where they now stand.

In the third quarter, the last period for which forex reserve figures are available, they increased by less than the sum of the country's trade surplus and foreign direct investment inflows during that period -- a very rough benchmark for gauging whether the country has witnessed capital inflows or outflows. (Reporting by Jason Subler; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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