Country's policies seen helping cool high inflation around world
China's prudent and responsible monetary policy will help tame global price pressures and further propel growth when necessary as sustained high inflation emerged as a major concern of the global economy, officials and economists said on Tuesday.
Committed to targeted and proper supportive measures, China's central bank has refrained from super-large stimulus measures inflating domestic price levels and turbocharging demand for commodities, helping maintain global price stability and contributing to the long-term development of the world economy, they said.
Their comments came after a growing number of institutions and economists warned of elevated global inflation as a result of supply shocks, especially because of the conflict in Ukraine and a rebound in global demand amid policy stimulus, sending commodity and food prices soaring.
In the United States, the consumer price index－the main gauge of inflation－rose 8.6 percent in May from a year ago, the highest increase since December 1981. Eurozone annual inflation also jumped to 8.1 percent in May, versus 7.4 percent in April.
David Blair, vice-president and senior economist at the Center for China and Globalization, said inflation has become a long-standing problem and the US economy will have to grapple with it throughout this decade.
Blair said the low interest rate policy in the US for years has driven up asset prices. Inflation has been made even worse by the huge scale of quantitative easing and government spending done under the current US administration.
"The more responsible monetary policy, which China has been following, is a very good thing. Don't be tempted to think you can buy short-term stimulus with pumping out money because it causes all sorts of other problems that will come about in the long term," Blair said.
Refraining from large-scale money printing, China has adopted a relatively prudent monetary policy compared with many Western economies, which "has been unique and shows a responsible attitude", said Chen Dong, head of Asia macroeconomic research at Pictet Wealth Management.
"This policy stance is beneficial to the long-term steady development of China's economy and at least has not added fuel to global inflation," Chen said.
With global investors confident in long-term prospects of China's economy, the country attracted $87.77 billion in foreign direct investment during the January-May period, up 22.6 percent year-on-year, the Ministry of Commerce said on Tuesday.
China has loosened monetary conditions in a moderate and targeted manner to mitigate COVID-19 economic losses, leaving the country's consumer price index growth at a mild 2.1 percent year-on-year in May, the same level as in April.
Official data showed China's broad money supply, or M2, had grown by 11.1 percent from a year earlier as of the end of May, much slower than late 2009 when the figure surged 29.7 percent to cope with the global financial crisis.
To facilitate the recovery of China's economy from the recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases, experts said they expect China to continue targeted monetary accommodation and shun major stimulus measures that possibly cause long-term problems including inflation.
Tommy Wu, lead economist at Oxford Economics, said he expects the People's Bank of China, the country's central bank, to lean toward targeted monetary easing to support small and medium-sized enterprises, manufacturers, infrastructure financing and healthy development of the real estate sector.
As the easing measures will continue to be targeted, they are unlikely to fuel inflation, Wu said, adding that ensuring energy and food supplies remain key to price stability.
Pan Gongsheng, vice-governor of the PBOC, said earlier this month that the central bank will step up monetary support to stabilize economic growth while keeping price levels stable and facilitating long-term sustainable economic development.