BEIJING, March 24 (Reuters) - China should keep interest rates low in the short term to boost consumption and private investment, a senior government economist said in remarks published on Wednesday.
China has raised banks' reserve requirements twice this year to mop up excess liquidity but, unlike India, Malaysia, Australia and Vietnam, it has kept interest rates unchanged despite rising inflationary pressure.
"The central bank will use quantitative tools and try to hold off on the use of price tools," the official China Securities Journal paraphrased Zhu Baoliang as saying.
Zhu, with the State Information Centre, a top government think-tank in Beijing, also said: "It's still too early to raise interest rates now."
He said low inflation-adjusted interest rates could help expand consumption and private investment.
Furthermore, higher rates would attract hot money into China while doing nothing to curb lending to risky investment vehicles backed by local governments, he said.