China: New yuan loans pick up in March
Chinese banks distributed CNY 1.12 trillion (USD 178 billion) in new yuan loans, up from February’s CNY 839 billion, but falling shy of market expectations of CNY 1.20 trillion. In the 12 months up to March, new yuan loans totaled CNY 14.2 trillion (12 months up to February: CNY 14.1 trillion). The boost in new yuan loans in March could be attributed to growth in more traditional bank loans as Chinese regulators seek to crack down on the pervasive shadow banking.
Total social financing (TSF)—a broader measure of credit and liquidity in the economy that includes loans, bonds and other non-traditional instruments—grew from CNY 1.17 trillion in February to CNY 1.33 trillion in March.
Meanwhile, annual growth in M2—the broadest measure of money supply in China—moderated from February’s 8.8% to 8.2% in March. The reading came in below the 8.9% that market analysts had expected and represented the lowest print since the current series began in 1996.