The last reduction in the RRR was a 50 basis point cut in December last year, while the People's Bank of China last raised the reserve requirements by 50 basis points in June 2011 to peak at an average 21.50% for large banks, and 19.50% for small banks. The PBC also adjusted the reserve requirement rules in August, effectively resulting in tightening of about 100bps. Meanwhile the People's Bank of China last raised the benchmark interest rate 25bps to 6.56% in early July last year.
China reported annual inflation of 4.5% in January, spiking due to seasonal effects from a low of 4.1% in December, but down from a high of 6.5% in July last year. Meanwhile the Chinese economy grew an annual 8.9% in the December quarter (9.1% in Q3, 9.5% in Q2). The Chinese Yuan (CNY) has appreciated by just over 4% against the US dollar over the past year, with the USDCNY exchange rate last trading around 6.30.