BEIJING/SHANGHAI, April 11 (Reuters) – China’s foreign
exchange reserves, the world’s largest, rose by about $7.7
billion in the first quarter to $1.9537 trillion at the end of
March, the central bank said on Saturday.
The figure was slightly below the median forecast of $1.955
trillion in a Reuters poll of 10 economists. [ID:nPEK193871]
For all of 2008, the foreign exchange reserves rose by
$417.8 billion, compared with increases of $461.9 billion in
2007, $247.3 billion in 2006 and $209 billion in 2005.
China’s reserves have ballooned as the central bank, in
order to hold down the yuan, has bought most of the dollars
generated by a large trade surplus, foreign direct investment
and periodic inflows of speculative capital.
The inflows have slowed in recent quarters as the global
economic slowdown has hit trade and investment flows.
Foreign exchange reserves (in billions of dollars, period
Mar09 Dec08 Sep08 Jun08 Mar08 Dec07
1,953.7 1,946.0 1,905.6 1,808.8 1,682.2 1,528.2
(Reporting by Zhou Xin and Edmund Klamann; Editing by Tomasz