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China’s new yuan loans drop in February, M2 growth stable

Updated: Mar 9,2018 2:39 PM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China’s new yuan-denominated loans in February stood at 839.3 billion yuan ($132.3 billion), 326.4 billion yuan less than the same period a year earlier, central bank data showed on March 9.

The amount, slightly above the market forecast of around 800 billion yuan, declined markedly from a record-high 2.9 trillion yuan in January.

“The decline was under market expectations, as February saw fewer weekdays due to the Spring Festival holiday,” said E Yongjian, Bank of Communications senior analyst.

The M2, a broad measure of money supply that covers cash in circulation and all deposits, reached 172.91 trillion yuan at the end of February, up 8.8 percent year on year, compared with an 8.6-percent increase a month earlier, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement.

The narrower measure of money supply (M1), which covers cash in circulation plus demand deposits, rose 8.5 percent year on year to 51.7 trillion yuan at the end of February. The growth rate was 12.9 percentage points down from a year ago.

The government will maintain a moderate growth in M2 monetary supply, credit and aggregate financing, according to the government work report delivered at the annual parliamentary session on March 5, without giving specific targets.

“M2 as a key indicator is becoming less correlated with the overall economic trend with financial innovation of the market,” said PBOC deputy governor Yi Gang on the sidelines of the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress.

M0, the amount of cash in circulation, rose 13.5 percent to 8.14 trillion yuan.

February saw a net cash injection of 678.8 billion yuan, according to the PBOC.

Total social finance, a broad measure of funds that non-financial firms and households get from the financial system, increased by 1.17 trillion yuan last month, 82.8 billion yuan more than a year earlier.

Liquidity conditions might not necessarily become tight as China improves utilization efficiency of broad money supply, according to central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan.

New loans to households, mainly used for home purchases, stood at 275.1 billion yuan. New loans to non-financial enterprises, government agencies and non-profit institutions reached 744.7 billion yuan.

In the January-February period, new yuan deposits totaled 3.6 trillion yuan, 234.9 billion yuan less than the same period last year.

By the end of February, total outstanding loans in both yuan and non-yuan currencies rose 12.1 percent year on year to 129.5 trillion yuan, while outstanding deposits climbed 8.4 percent to 173 trillion yuan.

Last month, yuan-denominated cross-border trade settlement reached 297.4 billion yuan. Direct investment settled in yuan totaled 153.1 billion yuan, according to the PBOC.