BOFIT Viikkokatsaus / BOFIT Weekly 2017/45

New balance-of-payments data show that China's current account surplus for the first nine months of this year was about 106 billion dollars. The goods trade surplus fell to 335 billion dollars, while the services trade deficit, driven by a tourism deficit of 172 billion dollars, expanded to 203 billion dollars. On-year, the current account surplus fell to 1.0 % of GDP.

Balance-of-payments figures also highlighted the fact that FDI outflows from China in the first nine months of the year amounted to 65 billion dollars, while FDI inflows to China were 86 billion dollars. After having been 47 billion dollars in the red last year, net FDI flows turned positive. Other items in the financial account showed that capital outflows from China slowed significantly in the first half compared to last year. Some observers argue that this trend continued in the third quarter, but official third-quarter figures have yet to be published.

China's currency reserves at end-October were 3.109 trillion dollars. China's currency reserves have increased by 99 billion dollars this year. In 2015–2016, they fell by 833 billion dollars. With gold and other assets included, China's reserves totalled 3.204 trillion dollars at the end of October.

China's current account trends relative to GDP, %

Source: Macrobond.