Nation's forex reserves up to .14 trillion in December

Updated 2018-01-08 11:01:06

China's foreign exchange reserves rose to their highest in more than a year in late December, blowing past economists' estimates, as tight regulations and a strong yuan continued to discourage capital outflows, central bank data showed on Sunday.

Notching up their 11th straight month of gains, reserves rose .2 billion in December 2017 to .14 trillion, the highest since September 2016 and the biggest monthly increase since July 2017. That compares with an increase of billion in November 2017.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected reserves to rise by billion to .125 trillion.

Capital flight had been seen as a major risk for China at the start of 2017, but a combination of tighter capital controls and a faltering dollar helped the yuan stage a strong turnaround, bolstering confidence in the economy.

The yuan rose around 6.8 percent against the greenback in 2017, recovering from a 6.5 percent loss in 2016 and reversing three straight years of depreciation.

For the full year, China's foreign exchange reserves rose 9.5 billion from .011 trillion at the end of 2016.

That's the first annual rise since 2014.

China's foreign exchange regulator said in a statement on its website that it would keep the nation's forex reserves and international balance of payments "balanced and stable" in 2018.

The country's reserves dropped by nearly trillion from a peak of .99 trillion in June 2014 to .998 trillion in January 2017 as it sought to shore up the yuan and reduce potentially destabilizing capital outflows. But reserves have since climbed by 2 billion.

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