SCIO press conference on forging ahead with confidence, upholding fundamental principles, breaking new ground, supporting high-quality development of real economy

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The Paper:

Data from the PBC shows that China's deposits hit a record high last year. How does the central bank view this data? Thanks.

Liu Guoqiang:

Thank you for your question. The significant increase in household deposits has been an eye-catching change in financial indicators since last year. In 2022, China's new household deposits increased by 17.84 trillion yuan, 7.94 trillion yuan more than the previous year. Since the beginning of this year, household deposits have maintained a fast-growing momentum. In January, household deposits rose by 6.2 trillion yuan, up 790 billion yuan year on year.

The rise in household deposits is mainly affected by consumers' spending and investment status and increased preference for liquidity. On the one hand, the COVID-19 epidemic has had a certain impact on consumption. As consumption decreases, savings will grow. A survey of depositors by the PBC showed that 61.8% of residents intended to save more money in the fourth quarter of 2022, up 10 percentage points year on year. About 22.8% of residents preferred to spend more, down 1.9 percentage points year on year. After the optimization of epidemic prevention and control policies, consumption has been significantly released, but it still needs time to recover. On the other hand, residents' lower appetite for risk and slower investment growth has led to a corresponding increase in deposits. In the fourth quarter of 2022, 15.5% of residents preferred to invest more, down 8 percentage points from a year earlier. By the end of January 2023, the asset management products of China's financial institutions totaled 95.9 trillion yuan, a figure directly summarized, down 2.4% year on year. Among them, household assets amounted to 40.9 trillion yuan, down 2.5% year on year. In addition, this year's Spring Festival fell in January. As enterprises paid wages and bonuses ahead of the Spring Festival, some of the deposits of enterprises were transferred to household savings, thus bringing an increase in household deposits.

As the macroeconomic performance improves, our residents' confidence in consumption and investment will increase, and their savings will gradually return to normal. The 20th CPC National Congress emphasized that we need to better leverage the fundamental role of consumption in stimulating economic growth. Clear requirements were put forth at the Central Economic Work Conference for prioritizing consumption recovery and expansion this year. After the optimization of epidemic prevention and control, the shortage in logistics and labor flow has been significantly improved, and consumption scenarios expansion has been sped up. Precautionary savings aggregated in the early stages are expected to be gradually released to meet actual consumption demand. A series of policies to promote consumption have been unveiled and implemented, and the policy effects will gradually become evident. In addition, as the economy improves, it will help enhance residents' confidence in investment, and residential investment will gradually return to normal levels.

Going forward, the PBC will act upon the spirit of the 20th CPC National Congress and the Central Economic Work Conference, accurately and strongly implement a prudent monetary policy, provide good financial services for residents to expand consumption and reasonable investment, and provide strong financial support for the development of the real economy. Thank you.

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