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Risks to economy 'can be managed'

Updated: 2013-02-07 07:48
By Wang Xiaotian ( China Daily)

Low inflation shows liquidity level 'does not pose serious threat'

The money supply has been growing at a slower pace and there are no indications of the economy overheating, financial analysts and officials said.

Concerns over excessive money supply and liquidity intensified after reports that China printed more money recently than any other country.

Potential money supply risks can be effectively contained, a central bank official, who requested anonymity, told China Daily.

"The standard of judging whether the monetary authorities have injected too much liquidity should always be the level of inflation, which is fine at present."

The People's Bank of China, the central bank, issued a quarterly monetary policy paper on Wednesday stressing the ability to monitor and combat inflation.

The money supply will continue to grow but it won't generate as much of an asset bubble as it did in 2007, said E Yongjian, senior analyst at the Bank of Communications.

The consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, grew 2.5 percent year-on-year in December 2012. The central bank said that M2, a broad measure of money supply that takes into account all deposits and cash in circulation, exceeded 97.4 trillion yuan ($15.5 trillion) by the end of 2012.

This was the highest in the world and accounted for about one quarter of the global money supply of 366 trillion yuan at the end of 2012, according to data compiled by the 21st Century Business Herald.

The money supply in China, 1.5 times that of the United States, surged by 50 trillion yuan in the past four years.

According to a Standard Chartered report last year, the yuan accounted for 48 percent of added liquidity worldwide from 2009 to 2011.

In 2011 alone, it accounted for 52 percent.

But 2012 saw a decline. Added M2 in China last year reached nearly 12.3 trillion yuan, accounting for 47 percent of added liquidity worldwide, according to the central bank.

Li Daokui, an economics professor at Tsinghua University, said such a huge amount of money in any country would lead to asset bubbles, inflation and a capital exodus.

Louis Kuijs, chief China economist at the Royal Bank of Scotland and a former World Bank economist, said there have been consequences.

"With leverage having risen substantially in recent years, concerns about financial risks have increased, especially about the non-bank financial sector and borrowing by local governments' investment platforms, and also about corporate leverage."

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