Chinese President Xi Jinping made his first known visit to the nation’s central bank since he became president a decade ago, two sources with knowledge of the matter said, as China’s economy and financial markets grapple with headwinds.
Xi, along with Vice Premier He Lifeng and other government officials, visited the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) and the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) in Beijing on Tuesday, the sources told Reuters.
The purpose of the visit was not immediately known. The PBOC and SAFE could not be immediately reached for comment outside of business hours.
The world’s second-largest economy grew faster than expected in the third quarter. But there are deeper concerns about continued weakness in private sector activity and a lack of longer-term reforms needed to shift the economy to consumer-led growth.
The PBOC, which delivered modest interest rate cuts and has pumped more cash into the economy in recent weeks, is constrained in how much it can ease monetary policy for fear of stoking capital flight and hurting the yuan, analysts said.
Capital outflows from China rose sharply to $75 billion in September, the biggest monthly figure since 2016, Goldman Sachs’ preferred gauge of foreign exchange flows showed, underscoring intensifying depreciation pressure on the yuan.