PBOC rules out easing monetary policy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 August, 2013, 4:12am

The mainland will stick to its prudent monetary policy in the second half of this year with no policy U-turns likely to happen, the central bank governor said.

Zhou Xiaochuan, the head of the People's Bank of China, ruled out the possibility of a loosening of monetary policy, noting that the economic growth rate of about 7.5 per cent was sound.

"We will make some adjustments to monetary policy if needed, but it would only be fine-tuning instead of big overhauls," Zhou told China Central Television yesterday.

Anticipation had been building that the mainland authorities might loosen monetary policy to counter an economic slowdown after gross domestic product decelerated to 7.5 per cent in the second quarter from 7.7 per cent in the January-March period.

Zhou dismissed concerns that the economy would have a hard landing.

"Internal dynamics of growth are still very strong," he said. "There will not be consecutive slowdowns."

He said the PBOC would try to strike a balance between maintaining economic growth, helping with rebalancing and pushing ahead with reforms.

The central bank was technically prepared for deposit rate liberalisation after Beijing scrapped lending rate floors last month in a step towards interest rate deregulation, Zhou said.

The liberalisation of deposit rates, which are subject to a 10 per cent cap currently, would be carried out "as planned", he said, without elaborating.

The mainland hoped yuan exchange rates could be stabilised at reasonable levels, he said, adding that the yuan's 1.7 per cent gain against the US dollar in the first half reflected China's trade surplus.

Zhou reiterated the mainland's liquidity was "generally affluent" in the medium term and the situation would not change because of short-term impact.

A cash crunch in the interbank market in June drove money rates to historic highs and led to panic over financial stability in the economy.