Key indicators show economy on even keel

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China Daily, March 12, 2019
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Headquarters of the People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank [Photo/Xinhua]

As drastic ups and downs in China's money and credit data within the first two months have sparked discussions on the reasons for this, the central bank issued an explanation on Monday morning, saying that robust financing activities have well supported economic growth so far this year.

Following January's rare boost in bank lending and full-aperture financing movements, China's money supply, new loan growth and aggregate social financing-the most important financial indicators, all retreated back to their normal status, said the People's Bank of China, the central bank.

Seasonal swings have played a significant role, said a statement on the PBOC website on Monday, as the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday, usually in the first two months of the year, always leads to remarkable fluctuations in credit and other economic data.

New yuan loans in February were reported at 885.8 billion yuan ($131.7 billion), below the market's forecast of around 900 billion yuan and down sharply from 3.32 trillion yuan in January. The broad measure of money supply, or M2, slowed to 8 percent from 8.4 percent at the end of January, according to PBOC data released on Sunday.

Aggregate social financing increased by 703 billion yuan in February, down from a monthly expansion of 4.64 trillion yuan in January. It was also lower than the expected level. But the figure for the first two months, which amounted to 5.34 trillion yuan, still indicated a rare growth pace of 25.2 percent from a year earlier.

Growth of the aggregate social financing rebounded in the first two months, compared with that in 2018, because of the strong growth of loans, bond financing and a slower contraction of trust loans, said the central bank.

Experts speculated that financial regulators have made efforts to manage credit risk, after a surge of lending in January.

"If true, it would be positive news to some extent," said David Qu, an economist with Bloomberg Economics.

Off-balance sheet financing, a part of the aggregate financing statistics, showed weaker decline in the first two months, especially in terms of trust loans, entrust loans and undiscounted bankers' acceptance. It showed a rebound from the aggressive drops during China's deleveraging campaign.

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