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People's Daily Online>>China Business

More loans hint at policy easing

(Shanghai Daily)

10:55, January 09, 2012

China's banks raised lending in December on the back of stronger money supply, reinforcing perceptions that the central bank is gently easing policy to cushion the impact of the global economic slowdown.

Chinese banks lent 640.5 billion yuan (US$101.51 billion) in new loans last month, up from 562.2 billion yuan in November, data from the People's Bank of China showed yesterday.

Annual growth in China's broad M2 money supply accelerated to 13.6 percent in December from November's 12.7 percent.

"The policy easing signal is becoming clearer," said Wang Hu, an economist at Guotai Junan Securities in Shanghai.

"We think the central bank will continue to loosen credit in the coming months."

The surge in bank lending and money supply exceeded market hopes. Analysts had expected 600 billion yuan in new loans for December and annual M2 rise of 12.7 percent last month.

Chinese policymakers have watched Europe's debt crisis with increasing alarm, but have resisted declaring an outright easing in monetary policy. Instead, they have stressed the need to "fine tune" policy, which many analysts say will mean easing of credit curbs, particularly for small businesses.

In a separate statement yesterday the PBOC reiterated it intended to keep a stable monetary policy.

The stronger lending and money supply data suggested that China is firmly on track to unveil more pro-growth steps as inflation eases, which cut the risk of a hard landing in the world's second-largest economy.

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