Training Beyond the Classroom in China

A local PBC branch can make a national impact!


For many years Mr. Mingchang Xu’s days revolved around teaching statistics to university students. Seeking change, he moved to the statistics and analysis division of Shaoxing Branch of the People’s Bank (PBC) of China (Zhejiang province) and became a unit chief. In October, 2014, he was selected to participate in the Joint China-IMF Training Program Macroeconomic Forecasting (MF) course in Dalian. The challenge for Mr. Xu and the IMF staff teaching the course was to make sure that participants would be able to adapt to the newest forecasting models in their work and research.


In his late 50’s, Mr. Xu was still one of the most ardent students among the participants, most of whom were in their 20’s and early 30’s. He proactively communicated with the counselors to maximize the opportunity to update his knowledge and tool box on macroeconomic forecasting in the classroom.

The course counselors from the IMF and coordinators from the PBC made sure that all participants remained engaged and connected and the technical content was not lost in translation. The most important take-away from this course for Mr. Xu was that he learned the methods of MF and deepened his understanding of using macro forecasting models in his daily work.


Mr. Xu took his knowledge beyond the IMF classroom. He and his colleagues completed their research article titled “The cyclical trend of exports and monitoring and early-warning of exporting risk: The case of Shaoxing, Zhejiang,” where he followed the rigorous procedure to pick two variables highly correlated to the total amount of export and use them to successfully forecast the trend of exporting in Shaoxing region.

In 2015, Mr. Xu submitted his article to the internal research journal “Survey and Statistical Thematic Studies,” the most rewarding flagship journal hosted by the Statistics and Analysis Department, PBC headquarters in Beijing. The submission gained attention of a headquarters director, Ms. Chunping Zhao, who had been in the same Dalian classroom with Mr. Xu where she was the course coordinator on the PBC side.

Although the journal rarely publishes articles written by employees from local branches, Ms. Zhao was impressed by Mr. Xu’s performance and contribution in the course. After she highly recommended his article to the editor, the article was not only accepted and published by the journal, but also circulated to the PBC governors and directors of other government agencies in Beijing. For an employee from a secondary local branch, this was a rare case and a great accomplishment. A local branch can make a national impact!