ICBC report predicts possible accelerated appreciation of yuan 2007-11-07 18:49:58   Print

    BEIJING, Nov. 7 (Xinhua)-- A report compiled by the Institute of Urban Finance under the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) predicted the appreciation of the Chinese currency would accelerate.

    The report published Wednesday on the China Securities Journal stated that a recent interest rate reduction in the United States had not hindered China's prudent monetary policy for the time being, but over the long run the influx of liquidity into the country would quicken and cause the yuan to further appreciate.

    The yuan broke the 7.45 mark on Wednesday, with the central parity rate at 7.4476 yuan against one U.S. dollar. It was the 68th new high the yuan had recorded since the start of this year, a four percent rise accumulatively.

    "We should not only focus on the foreign exchange rate fluctuation in one single day, but keep a close eye on the long-term trend," Dr. Ou Minggang, Director of International Finance Research Center under China Foreign Affairs University, told Xinhua.

    "The U.S. dollar has depreciated more than 40 percent compared with the euro, while the yuan has only appreciated around 10 percent since July 2005. It is possible for the yuan to further appreciate."

    The influx of liquidity due to the continuous appreciation trend of the yuan and the high rate of investment return expectation in the country, would also add pressure to overheated real estate and stock markets, the report warned.

    "Worried that the subprime mortgage crisis would drag the American economy into recession, the U.S. Federal Reserve further cut the key interest rate on Oct. 31," Dr. Peng Xingyun, a senior researcher with the Institute of Finance and Banking under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told Xinhua. "To some extent, the subprime mortgage crisis was good timing for the U.S. to influence China's monetary policy."

    Ou pointed out that China has taken a series of measures to cool off the overheated economy, including increasing interest rates, encouraging domestic consumption and better managing the property and stock markets.

    National Bureau of Statistics figures revealed that the country's consumer price index (CPI), a key inflation indicator, rose 4.1 percent in the first nine months over the same period last year. Fixed asset investment was up 25.7 percent.

    Peng held that the government would step up its macro-economic management in the face of an overheated economic development trend and the effect of these measures would be obvious after a period of time.

    He also predicted one interest rate increase in China by the end of this year.

Editor: Du Guodong
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