Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Are UK Savings Interest Rates Finally Starting to Rise? Best Cash ISA 2017 - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Inflation Tsunami - Supermarkets, Retail Sector Crisis 2017, EU Suicide and Burning Stocks - Nadeem_Walayat
3.Big Moves in the World Stock Markets - Big Bases - Rambus_Chartology
4.The Next Financial Implosion Is Not Going To Be About The Banks! - Gordon_T_Long
5.Why EU BrExit Single Market Access Hard line is European Union Committing Suicide - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Trump Ramps Up US Military Debt Spending In Preparations for China War - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Watch What Happens When Silver Price Hits $26...  - MoneyMetals
8.Stock Market Fake Risk, Fake Return? Market Crash? - 2nd Mar 17 - Axel_Merk
9.Global Inflation Surges, Central Banks Losing Control and Triggered the Wage Price Spiral? - Nadeem_Walayat
10.Why Gold Will Boom In 2017 - James Burgess
Last 7 days
Political Week Presurres US Stock Market - 25th Mar 17
London Terror Attack Red Herring, Real Issue is Age of Reason vs Religion - 25th Mar 17
Will Washington Risk WW3 to Block an Emerging EU-Russia Superstate - 25th Mar 17
Unaccountable Military Industrial Complex Is Destroying America and the Rest Of The World Too - 25th Mar 17
Silver Mining Stock Fundamentals - 24th Mar 17
A Walk Down the Dark Road of Bad Government - 24th Mar 17
Is Stock Market Flash Crash Postponed Until Monday? - 24th Mar 17
Stock Market Bubble and Gold - 24th Mar 17
Maps Of Past Empires That Can Tell Us About The Future - 24th Mar 17
SNP Independent Scotland's Destiny With Economic Catastrophe, the English Subsidy - IndyRef2 - 24th Mar 17
Stock Market VIX Cycles Set To Explode March/April 2017 – Part II - 23rd Mar 17
Is Now a Good Time to Invest in the US Housing Market? - 23rd Mar 17
The Stock Market Is a Present-Day Version of Pavlov’s Dog - 23rd Mar 17
US Budget - There’s Almost Nothing Left To Cut - 23rd Mar 17
Stock Market Upward Reversal Or Just Quick Rebound Before Another Leg Down? - 23rd Mar 17
Trends to Look Out For as a Modern-day Landlord - 23rd Mar 17
Here’s Why Interstate Health Insurance Won’t Fix Obamacare / Trumpcare - 23rd Mar 17
China’s Biggest Limitations Determine the Future of East Asia - 23rd Mar 17
This is About So Much More Than Trump and Brexit - 23rd Mar 17
Trump Stock Market Rally Over? 20% Bear Drop By Mid Summer? - 22nd Mar 17
Trump Added $3 Trillion in Wealth to Stock Market Participants - 22nd Mar 17
What's Next for the US Dollar, Gold and Stocks? - 22nd Mar 17
MSM Bond Market Full Nonsense Mode as ‘Trump Trades’ Unwind on Schedule - 22nd Mar 17
Peak Gold – Biggest Gold Story Not Being Reported - 22nd Mar 17
Return of Sovereign France, Europe’s Changing Landscape - 22nd Mar 17
Trump Stocks Bull Market Rolling Over? You Were Warned! - 22nd Mar 17
Stock Market Charts That Scream “This Is It” - Here’s What to Do - 22nd Mar 17
Raising the Minimum Wage Is a Jobs Killing Move - 22nd Mar 17
Potential Bottoming Patterns in Gold and Silver Precious Metals Stocks Complex... - 22nd Mar 17
UK Stagflation, Soaring Inflation CPI 2.3%, RPI 3.2%, Real 4.4% - 21st Mar 17
The Demise of the Gold and Silver Bull Run is Greatly Exaggerated - 21st Mar 17
USD Decline Continues, Pull SPX Down as well? - 21st Mar 17
Trump Watershed Budget - 21st Mar 17
How do Client Acquisition Offers Affect Businesses? - 21st Mar 17
Physical Metals Demand Plus Manipulation Suits Will Break Paper Market - 20th Mar 17
Stock Market Uncertainty Following Interest Rate Increase - Will Uptrend Continue? - 20th Mar 17
Precious Metals : Who’s in Charge ? - 20th Mar 17
Stock Market Correction Continues - 20th Mar 17
Why The Status Quo Is Under Increasing Attack By 'Populist People Power' - 20th Mar 17
Why the SNP WILL Destroy Scotland, Exit UK Single Market for EU - IndyRef2 - 19th Mar 17
Crypto Craziness: Bitcoin Plunges on Fork Concerns, Steem Skyrockets and Dash Surges Above $100 - 19th Mar 17
What ‘Ice-Nine’ Means for Your Money - 19th Mar 17
Stock Market 4 Year Cycle - 18th Mar 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Elliott Wave Trading

People's Bank of China Takes With One Hand, Gives With The Other?

Interest-Rates / China Economy May 19, 2007 - 09:30 AM GMT

By: Paul_L_Kasriel

Interest-Rates The People's Bank of China (PBOC) announced today that it was raising the required reserve ratio on its constituent banks by 0.5 percentage points to 11.5%. This would be the eighth increase in the required reserve ratio since June 2006 when the ratio was 7.5%. You would think that with the PBOC mandating that banks now hold more reserves, the cost of reserve credit would be moving up. Think again. Chart 1 shows that the Chinese overnight interbank interest rate, the equivalent of the U.S. fed funds rate, stood at 1.57% in March (latest data that I have available) - 12 basis points lower than where it was in June 2006, before the required reserve ratio started its ascent.


Chart 1

If the demand for something has gone up, in this case, the dictated demand for bank reserves, how can the price of that something, the overnight interest rate on bank reserves, stay almost the same? The supply of that something, bank reserves, must have gone up commensurately. Chart 2 shows that the year-over-year growth in reserves created by the PBOC jumped from 10.0% in June 2006 to 23.1% in March 2007. In effect, it looks as though the PBOC has been "sterilizing" its reserve-requirement increases.

That is, the PBOC is accommodating its imposed increased demand for reserves by "printing" more reserves, effectively keeping the interest rate on reserve credit essentially unchanged. This might explain why the year-over-year growth in the Chinese M2 money supply in April 2007 was 16.99% -- not much different from the 17.03% in June 2006, just before the required reserve ratio began being raised (See Chart 3).

Chart 2

Chart 3

Why is the PBOC cosmetically tightening its monetary policy? It might have something to do with the more rapid increases in the prices of consumer goods and services of late (see Chart 4) and the more rapid increases in the prices of Chinese corporate equities of late (see Chart 5).

Chart 4

Chart 5

Now, with today's announcement of an increase in the required-reserve ratio, the PBOC also announced some increases in interest rates - just not increases in the interest rate on reserve credit. The PBOC increased the interest rate on one-year bank loans by 18 basis points to 6.57% and the interest rate on one-year bank deposits by 27 basis points to 3.06%.

With consumer price inflation running "officially" at 3.0% and with stock prices growing at an annual rate of almost 200%, why would many Chinese find a 3.06% nominal return on their savings very attractive? In other words, it is doubtful that the PBOC's deposit interest rate increase is going to do much to slow down the velocity of M2. Likewise, a 6.57% borrowing interest rate in the face of an almost 200% annual increase in stock prices is unlikely to slow significantly the demand for bank credit. And U.S. banks can only look on in envy at Chinese banks that can fund themselves overnight at 1.6% and lend for one-year at 6.57%. In sum, it does not look as though the steps taken today by the PBOC on reserve requirements and interest rates will do much to slow down bank credit / money supply growth and, thus, consumer price and asset price inflation unless these steps are taken in conjunction with a sharp slowdown in the PBOC's provision of bank reserves.

A slowdown in bank reserve provision would lead to a rise in the overnight interbank interest rate. The rise in this rate also would put upward pressure on the yuan/dollar exchange rate. And the PBOC also announced that it would allow the yuan/dollar relationship to vary more on a daily basis - from 0.3% to 0.5%. Under current conditions, the only way the PBOC can rein in consumer and asset price inflation is to slow down the provision of bank reserves and that will entail a rise in the yuan relative to the dollar. The PBOC has to make a decision - does it want to maintain a relatively steady yuan/dollar relationship or does it want to prevent Chinese inflation? It can't have both. As the Chinese say, "May we live in interesting times."

By Paul L. Kasriel
The Northern Trust Company
Economic Research Department - Daily Global Commentary

Copyright © 2007 Paul Kasriel
Paul joined the economic research unit of The Northern Trust Company in 1986 as Vice President and Economist, being named Senior Vice President and Director of Economic Research in 2000. His economic and interest rate forecasts are used both internally and by clients. The accuracy of the Economic Research Department's forecasts has consistently been highly-ranked in the Blue Chip survey of about 50 forecasters over the years. To that point, Paul received the prestigious 2006 Lawrence R. Klein Award for having the most accurate economic forecast among the Blue Chip survey participants for the years 2002 through 2005.

The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of The Northern Trust Company. The Northern Trust Company does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of information contained herein, such information is subject to change and is not intended to influence your investment decisions.


© 2005-2016 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife