BEIJING, Jan 12 — New bank lending in China fell more than expected in December from the previous month, but lending for the full year of 2021 set a record, as the central bank maintained policy support to cushion the slowing economy.
Chinese banks extended 1.13 trillion yuan (RM743 billion) in new yuan loans in December, down from 1.27 trillion yuan in November and falling short of analysts’ expectations, according to data released by the People’s Bank of China today.
Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted new yuan loans would fall to 1.25 trillion yuan in December. The tally was lower than 1.27 trillion yuan a year earlier.
China’s economy got off to a strong start in 2021 as activity continued to rebound from a pandemic-induced slump the previous year, but it has lost steam in recent months due to a property market downturn, curbs on industrial pollution and strict Covid-19 curbs which have hit consumer confidence and spending.
To shore up flagging growth, the central bank cut the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) for banks on December 15, its second such move in 2021, releasing 1.2 trillion yuan in long-term liquidity to bolster business activity.