China yesterday reported a surplus in both its current and capital accounts last year as the country attracted foreign capital amid global economic uncertainties.
The country posted a surplus of 188.6 billion U.S. dollars in its current account, which measures foreign trade, for 2013, the State Administration of Foreign Exchanges said in a statement yesterday.
In 2012, China had a surplus of 193.1 billion U.S. dollars in the current account.
Under the capital and financial account, which measures net inflows of investment funds, China had a surplus of 242.7 billion U.S. dollars, a reversal from a deficit of 16.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2012.
In the fourth quarter of last year, China’s foreign exchange reserves rose by 131 billion U.S. dollars, or US$2.2 billion a day, to 3.82 trillion U.S. dollars by the year-end.
Economists cited China’s improving exports, recovering economic data in the second half, the yuan’s appreciation against the US dollar and relatively high interest rates resulting in an inflow of foreign capital for the positive figures.
“The inflow of foreign currencies is closely related to expectations for the yuan’s appreciation, and such expectations are still high in the market,” CITIC Securities Co wrote in a report. “Foreign investors are still positive about the long-term economic outlook for China supported by the government’s push for reforms.”
Standard Chartered Bank’s China chief economist Stephen Green said China will continue to build up foreign capital assets this year by around 600 billion U.S. dollars.