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Chinese monetary policy likely to take wait-and-see mode: UBS

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-02-03 14:40

BEIJING - China is likely to hold off major monetary policy decisions before more complete economic data indicates growth momentum, said Switzerland's largest bank UBS on Tuesday.

Economic data in January and February is likely to be distorted by low season activity and the shifting timing of Chinese New Year, which will fall on Feb 19 this year. Thus, credible assessment of the underlying growth momentum is impeded, said Wang Tao, chief China economist with UBS.

March data will be the best touchstone and could set the direction of macro policies for the next couple of quarters, according to UBS.

China's central bank has taken a neutral stance to ensure adequate liquidity and to stabilize the fixing price of the yuan in the foreign exchange market, UBS said.

UBS predicts that this year will see more liquidity provisions, including a required reserve ratio (RRR) cut, together with a modest depreciation of the Chinese yuan against US dollars by year end with more two-way volatilities.

Moreover, UBS forecasts China's foreign trade surplus in January will post a record high of $59 billion, with export growth solid at 9 percent year on year, while imports will drop by 4 percent from a year earlier.

UBS also estimates that January's consumer price index (CPI) will have dipped, with weaker monthly growth in food prices of around 0.3 percent from 2.5 percent the previous year, dragging down yearly inflation by almost 2.2 percent.

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