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2012年4月19日 (木)

人民元改革 着実な切り上げで安定成長を

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Apr. 19, 2012)
China must revalue yuan to attain stable growth
人民元改革 着実な切り上げで安定成長を(4月18日付・読売社説)

China has expanded the yuan's trading band for the first time in five years. Yet, it must continue to steadily revalue its currency to help stabilize its economy.

From Monday, the People's Bank of China allowed the yuan to fluctuate by 1 percent above and below the rate set daily by the bank, double the previous 0.5 percent.

China's effort to give its currency more flexibility so it can fluctuate more actively is reasonable.

Beijing expanded the band of yuan's fluctuations apparently because of mounting pressure from Washington, which has been saddled with a huge trade deficit with China. In the United States, where a presidential election will be held in November, criticism has been growing stronger that China is keeping its currency at unduly low levels.

The Chinese yuan may become a focal point of a meeting of financial ministers and central bank governors from the Group of 20 major economies opening in Washington later this week.


Preemptive move

China's decision to give the yuan more flexibility was an apparent move ahead of the G-20 conference to show the world its willingness to promote currency reform.

However, the yuan failed to meet expectations as it fluctuated in narrow ranges on Monday, the first trading day, and Tuesday. The yuan closed at 6.3015 per dollar Tuesday, virtually unchanged from last week.

The Chinese monetary authorities plan to continue intervening in exchange markets by selling the yuan and buying the dollar to stem the sharp rise in the yuan's value.

But China will not be able to correct the trade imbalance by carrying out such a token reform.

It is essential for China to raise the yuan's exchange rate to levels commensurate with its status as the world's second largest economy and structurally reform its economy.

China's gross domestic product for the January-March quarter showed a moderate 8.1 percent increase over the same period the year before, marking a slowdown for five consecutive quarters and the lowest increase in about three years.

The slowdown in China's economy was primarily caused by reduced exports to Europe, which is mired in a sovereign debt crisis. Beijing is trying to shift from an export-reliant economy to one led by domestic demand centering on personal consumption. However, this transformation has made little progress.


Concern about inflation

Will China's economy slow down further or get back on the road to stable growth? It can be said the country is facing a crucial turning point.

The country's consumer prices have been soaring, refueling concern about inflation. If the Chinese authorities flood the domestic market with an excessive money supply in their efforts to curb the yen's rise by selling the currency in exchange markets, inflation may accelerate.
(●これは誤植でしょうね^^to curb the yen's rise→to curb the yuan's riseプロでも間違えることもあるのです^^)

For this reason, China must make all-out efforts to control inflation by allowing the yuan's exchange rate to rise gradually. If prices become stable, it will widen the scope of options to carry out financial policies. It also will have the effect of reducing reliance on exports.

High expectations are placed on China to help put the global economy, which is still reeling from the effect of the European fiscal debt crisis, and the Japanese economy on a stable path.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, April 18, 2012)
(2012年4月18日01時26分  読売新聞)


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