BEIJING, April 15 -- China's new yuan-denominated lending amounted to 1.05 trillion yuan (170.5 billion U.S. dollars) in March, picking up from 644.5 billion yuan in February, central bank data showed on Tuesday.
On a year-on-year basis, the volume was down 12.4 billion yuan, said the People's Bank of China in an online statement.
In the first quarter, new yuan loans totalled 3.01 trillion yuan, an increase of 259.2 billion yuan from the same period last year.
M2, a broad measure of money supply that covers cash in circulation and all deposits, increased 12.1 percent year on year to 116.07 trillion yuan at the end of March, the bank said.
The narrow measure of money supply (M1), which covers cash in circulation plus demand deposits, expanded 5.4 percent to 32.77 trillion yuan as of the end of last month.
China's total social financing aggregate, a broad measure of liquidity in the economy, came in at 5.6 trillion yuan in the first quarter.
The latest data came as growth in the world's second-largest economy has slowed faster than expected and inflation remains largely subdued, fanning speculation that the government will ease monetary policies.
China's consumer price index , a main gauge of inflation, increased 2.4 percent year on year in March, official data showed.
Growth data for the first quarter is due on Wednesday, and market consensus is that expansion will be shown to have slipped below the annual target of 7.5 percent during the period.