China’s central bank reduced its forecast for exports on Wednesday, predicting a second straight annual fall in shipments, however revealed its expectations regarding a 6.8 growth later this year.
The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) also warned in its mid-year work report that the government’s push to reduce debt levels and overcapacity could increase bond default risks and further make it more difficult for companies to raise funds.
Worth noting that ahead of a meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s policymaking board next week, it said the pace of U.S interest rate rises would affect global capital flows and emerging market currencies, but it did not mention the yuan.
“Since the beginning of this year, the global and domestic economic environment has experienced a number of changes,” the PBOC said in the report.
“Reflecting these recent developments, we revised our China macroeconomic forecasts for 2016. Compared with our published forecasts in December last year, we maintain our baseline projection of 2016 real GDP growth at 6.8 percent.”
The report was released shortly after monthly data showed China’s exports fell an annual 4.1 percent in May, more than expected and the 10th decline in the past 12 months. However, some economists warned that imports from Hong Kong may have once again been inflated by fake trade invoicing.
Chinese customs data showed the mainland’s imports from Hong Kong jumped 242.6 percent in May from a year earlier, while its exports to the territory fell 7 percent.
“We don’t expect the trade figure will change the PBOC’s attitude towards the (yuan) exchange rate. They still prefer stability,” wrote ANZ economists in a research note.
U.S. officials have been in China this week pressing China to reduce trade barriers for foreign businesses, and also expressing concern that Chinese firms in glutted sectors like steel are dumping underpriced goods in offshore markets.
Those concerns are unlikely to be relieved by the May trade data, as steel and rare earth exports continued to rise.