China posted a US$91.2 billion deficit in its capital and financial account for the fourth quarter of 2014, the largest in more than a decade.
The figure, which covers investments, is the latest evidence capital is flowing out of the country, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing initial estimates by the foreign exchange regulator.
It is the largest quarterly deficit under China’s capital and financial account since at least 1998, according to data provider Wind Information Co., although this is still subject to revisions.
For the full year, the capital account deficit is US$96 billion after a revised deficit of US$9 billion in the third quarter of 2014, according to preliminary estimates.
China has been facing capital outflows as its economy slows and its currency weakens.
Also, the government has been encouraging domestic companies to play a bigger role in the global economy by investing overseas.
Economists have said that slower economic growth and rising labor costs are making China a less attractive destination for some types of foreign investment while the weaker yuan is prompting some exporters to hold on to foreign exchange instead of converting it into the local currency.
In the fourth quarter, China had a surplus of US$61.1 billion in the current account, which covers trade in goods and services.
It had a surplus of US$213.8 billion for all of 2014, according to initial estimates. The figure included a revised surplus of US$72.2 billion in the third quarter of last year.
In 2013, China posted surpluses in both its capital and current accounts, with the capital account showing a US$326.2 billion surplus and the current account surplus at US$182.8 billion.
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