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China Q3 current account surplus of $69.3 billion, capital account flips to surplus
December 30, 2016 / 9:58 AM / a year ago

China Q3 current account surplus of $69.3 billion, capital account flips to surplus

BEIJING (Reuters) - China had a final current account surplus of $69.3 billion in the third quarter of this year, according to data published by the foreign exchange regulator on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Chinese 100 yuan banknotes are seen in a counting machine while a clerk counts them at a branch of a commercial bank in Beijing, China, March 30, 2016. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

The capital and financial account recorded a surplus of $5.1 billion, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) said on its website. It earlier reported a preliminary Q3 deficit of $71.2 billion.

SAFE gave no explanation for the large difference in the preliminary and final figures for the capital account, but said that it expects net cross-border outflows to narrow in the fourth quarter.

China’s foreign reserves were relatively stable in the third quarter, with the yuan depreciating only slightly in the period, indicating capital outflow pressures likely eased.

But with yuan weakness against the dollar accelerating since October, foreign reserves have fallen further, sparking speculation that capital outflows have sped up.

For the first nine months of the year, China’s current account surplus was $172.7 billion, and the capital and financial account deficit was $9.4 billion, SAFE said.

SAFE said that the current account will maintain a “reasonable” surplus in the fourth quarter, with cross-border capital flows likely moving towards equilibrium.

Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk and Elias Glenn; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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