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Slowdown in bank loan, M2 growth

(Global Times)

08:32, March 11, 2013

China's broad measure of money supply or M2 rose by 15.2 percent in February year-on-year, in line with market expectations and down slightly from January's 15.9 percent increase, central bank data showed Sunday.

Banks extended 620 billion yuan ($99.7 billion) worth of new loans in February, below market forecasts of 750 billion yuan, as the central bank moved to tighten liquidity to ward off inflationary risks.

Inflationary pressures have started to emerge as China's consumer price index jumped to a 10-month high in February.

"While we think the time is still way off for an explicit policy change, such as a hike in interest rates and the reserve requirement ratio, the current monetary tightening bias via open market operations will likely be maintained in the foreseeable future," according to ANZ research published Saturday.

The average interbank offered rate reached 2.77 percent in February, according to central bank data, half a percentage point higher than the previous month, reflecting tightened market liquidity.

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