Chinese banks lent
It is usual for loans to spike in January when banks try to lend as much as they can to grab market share, but last month's surge was still the largest since
Saturday's figures may assuage those who worry about
Some economists cautioned against reading too much into the latest figures.
The bigger picture is that bank loan growth has been effectively flat since the middle of 2013, Capital Economics said in a note, adding that broader credit growth is at its lowest in nearly one and a half years.
Total social financing, a broad measure of liquidity and credit in the economy, was
Compared to a year ago, Capital Economics said growth in total social financing had eased to 17.4 percent in January, the lowest in about a year-and-a-half and down from December's 17.8 percent.
The broad M2 money supply was up 13.2 percent last month from a year earlier, in line with a Reuters poll forecast of a 13.2-percent rise.
Outstanding yuan loans were up 14.3 percent from a year earlier versus forecasts for growth of 13.9 percent.
Bank lending is a centerpiece in
January's lending surge aside,
It has focused in particular on keeping short-term interest rates elevated to force banks to stop lending to speculators or high-risk borrowers.
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