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Making better use of deposits

Updated: 2013-07-22 20:50

China's RMB deposits reached 100.91 trillion yuan ($16.4 trillion) at the end of June. How to make good use of them? A column in People's Daily gives advice (excerpts below).

A high deposit rate has always been a characteristic of China's economy. For its residents, depositing money in the bank is also a primary means of managing money. Even though people complain about price hikes, 46.2 percent of residents still prefer "more deposits", according to a recent survey by the People's Bank of China.

Some analysts attribute the high deposit rate to Chinese culture, which cherishes thrift as a virtue, but that theory does not always apply. In 2000 and 2007, with the bullish trends in the Shanghai and Shenzhen stock markets, numerous people withdrew their money and invested them on stocks. In a similar PBOC survey in 2010, 45.2 percent of urban residents listed "more investments" as their top choice, more than those that preferred "more deposits".

Actually, many people deposit money because they dare not spend it. As Chinese residents have to spend quite a lot of money on housing, medical care, educating their children and caring for the elderly, they have no choice but to save money to be safe. As incomes remain static, they have to give up a portion of their consumption.

Another reason why people deposit money is that they have no investment channels. The fact is that people in China today still lack safe and stable investment methods, which is what they want most.

Such high deposits have contributed to economic development in certain years. However, today China needs to further propel economic development with consumption and domestic spending, and high deposit rates can curb the trend. It is necessary to make good use of the money in the accounts of people and enterprises.

That in turn requires China to expand investment channels, as well as offering better social security for ordinary people, so that they will be able to better invest and consume money. This is of key importance to China's long-term economic development.