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Money supply growth at record low

Wang Yanfei
Updated: Aug 16,2017 7:22 AM     China Daily

China’s money supply growth slowed to its lowest level on record in July as regulators continue to keep a grip on fending off financial risks.

The M2 money supply in July grew 9.2 percent year-on-year, compared to 9.4 percent in June, data from the People’s Bank of China showed on Aug 15.

The growth has been slowed down for six consecutive months, continuing to miss the 12 percent target level set for the whole year.

Slow M2 growth is the result of strengthening efforts to lower leverage ratios in the financial sector, and there should not be too much reading into it, Ruan Jianhong, head of the People’s Bank of China’s Survey and Statistics Department, said in June.

She said slow money supply growth will become “new normal” in the coming months.

The government has been trying to curb risks by controlling the debt level and tightening controls on the overheated property market since the beginning of the year, leading to some concerns over the non-financial activities which will be affected-companies will face with high borrowing costs.

However, total social financing and new yuan loans witnessed higher-than-expected growth in July.

Total social financing, a broad measure of credit and liquidity in the economy, increased by 1.22 trillion yuan ($182 billion) in July, which is 741.5 billion yuan higher compared to the same period last year, the data showed.

Chinese banks extended 825.5 billion yuan ($123.7 billion) in net new yuan loans in July, beating market expectations.

Higher than expected growth of the above mentioned indicators starkly contrast with weakened economic data revealed earlier this month, reflecting the fact that seasonal factors played key roles, Shenwan Hongyuan Securities said, referring to China’s major economic indicators revealed on Aug 14.

Year-on-year growth of industrial output, investment and retail sales all dropped slightly in July compared to the previous month.

“The economy still retains its resilience, and relative high credit growth is expected to ensure economic growth is at a proper pace in the coming months,” it said.

Wang Tao, chief China economist at UBS, said tightened regulation in the financial sector might drag down the pace of credit growth in the next few months, which may put some downward pressure on economic performance.

The government may relax its policy on issuing credit early next year, if the property market cools to a level threatening the stable economic growth, Wang added.

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