China’s Plunging Foreign Reserves

Yuan Continues to Outflow

Chinese currency remains worrisome to the global economy as Yuan continues to outflow causing declining foreign exchange reserve. As the Yuan is losing value, Chinese consumers are rushing to exchange them for U.S. dollars to preserve their value.

As there is a limit of exchanging Chinese currency annually to $50,000, consumers are trying to get around this rule by buying other tangible assets such as real estate, fine art, expensive wine, and so on. Another popular method to get around this rule is to use the quota of other people who have room and sometimes paying to use their quota.

The Chinese government is intervening in the market to stop rapid depreciation of Yuan by selling dollars and buying Chinese currency. However, this intervention is causing the plunging of the foreign exchange reserve. Chinese authorities are assuring everyone that there is nothing to worry about and these fluctuations are normal economic conditions.

January data shows that the foreign reserve declined by $12.3 billion to $2.9 trillion. Also, debt is rising rapidly and growth in GDP is slowing down. And there are more things to worry about as President Trump made it a priority to balance the trade deficit with China. China has been running trade surplus with the rest of the world persistently for the last decade. The USA had a trade deficit of $347 billion in 2016.

A declining Yuan, slowing GDP, and rising debt will likely contribute to bigger surplus as exports to China will suffer the most from all these.