China records Q3 current account surplus of $69.3bn
Current account is expected to maintain a ‘reasonable’ surplus in the fourth quarter
The capital and financial account recorded a surplus of $5.1 billion. Photograph: Jason Lee/Reuters
China had a final current account surplus of $69.3 billion (€65.5 billion) in the third quarter of this year, according to data published by the foreign exchange regulator on Friday.
The capital and financial account recorded a surplus of $5.1 billion (€4.8 billion), the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (Safe) said on its website. It earlier reported a preliminary third quarter deficit of $71.2 billion (€67.3 billion).
Safe gave no explanation for the large difference in the preliminary and final figures for the capital account, but said that it expects net cross-border outflows to narrow in the fourth quarter.
China’s foreign reserves were relatively stable in the third quarter, with the yuan depreciating only slightly in the period, indicating capital outflow pressures likely eased.
But with yuan weakness against the dollar accelerating since October, foreign reserves have fallen further, sparking speculation that capital outflows have sped up.
For the first nine months of the year, China’s current account surplus was $172.7 billion (€163.4 billion), and the capital and financial account deficit was $9.4 billion (€8.9 billion), Safe said.
Safe said that the current account will maintain a “reasonable” surplus in the fourth quarter, with cross-border capital flows likely moving towards equilibrium.