Chinese bankers are confident about the country's future economic growth and
are satisfied with the government's monetary policies, an investigation has
A survey of 2,800 banking institutions put the Bankers' Confidence Index at
82.4 per cent, the highest since the survey was started by the People's Bank of
China (PBOC), the central bank, at the beginning of last year.
Of the surveyed bankers, who are presidents of both local and foreign banks
and senior managers at provincial and city level subsidiaries, 82.6 per cent
said they believed the performance of the economy was "normal" in the first
quarter. Some 80.1 per cent predicted normal economic growth over the next three
"This positive judgement is not only a recognition of last year's
macroeconomic performance, but an expression of confidence in the national
economy's health and stability," the PBOC said in a report published on Friday.
"The continued uptrend in the Bankers' Confidence Index indicates that they
are optimistic about the economy's prospects."
The Chinese economy grew by 9.9 per cent last year. Economists widely believe
it will continue to grow by no less than 9 per cent this year, although the
official target is set at 7.5 per cent.
But the views expressed by bankers come in contrast to those expressed by
many economists, the central bank noted. Some economists say economic growth is
perhaps too high, citing figures such as high growth rates for fixed investment.
Others hold the opposite view, fearing that deflation may be around the
corner as overcapacity in certain sectors threatens to push down prices.
Chinese bankers also expressed satisfaction over monetary policies in the
first quarter, with 81 per cent of those surveyed saying they were
The central bank has downscaled its growth target for the broad measure money
supply M2 to 16 per cent for this year. It is lower than 2005's 17 per cent
target, which was revised up from 15 per cent at the beginning of last year as
real growth outpaced expectations.
This indicates the central bank still wants to keep control of the money
supply and has no intention of letting go this year, analysts say.
M2 growth was 18.8 per cent at the end of last month, down by 1.8 percentage
points from January.
(China Daily 03/18/2006 page1)