Well-known Chinese news site Tencent recently reported, based on data that the Chinese central bank recently released, that as of the end of April, the balance of the total deposits of China’s residents fell to RMB 67.4 trillion, which was 1.32 trillion less than the same number at the end of March. This is the largest single-month decline in history. It also represents a 2.1 trillion year-over-year decline. For many years, China has been considered a country with a high rate of savings. However, in 2017, the balance of resident’s deposits started to see a net reduction. In 2008, China’s household savings rate was 53.2 percent. In 2017, that rate dropped to 7.7 percent. In the first quarter of this year, all major domestic national banks saw negative growth for the balance of individual savings. In the same period of time, consumer spending did not show any significant growth. Statistics showed that people have been putting more and more money into investment funds and the real estate market. The savings decline can have a major impact on the economy. It may result in slower bank investments into the economy, an increased cost of borrowing, and more resources sucked into the real estate bubble.
Source: Tencent Financial News, May 18, 2018