China’s bank lending in August over doubled from the previous month, but analysts said a lot of the gain was as a result of strong mortgage demand, increasing evidence that Chinese companies are increasingly reluctant to make new investments.
The figures, as well as other data in the week, paint an image of your economy that is improving slowly but increasingly reliant on a housing boom and government spending for growth.
Chinese banks extended 948.7 billion yuan ($142.23 billion) in 房貸 in August, well above expectations, while broad M2 money supply (M2) also grew by way of a more-than-expected 11.4 percent from the year earlier, based on central bank data on Wednesday.
New bank lending rebounded sharply from July’s 463.6 billion yuan, which was the best in 2 years, while M2 quickened from July’s 10.2 percent rise, which was the weakest in 15 months.
The central bank has pledged to hold policy slightly loose, but sources say it really is unwilling to cut rates of interest or bank reserves again inside the near term amid evidence that companies and banks are hoarding cash as an alternative to investing it.
“A renewed pick-up in credit growth recently will enhance the growing sense among investors that the near-term outlook for China’s economy is pretty bright,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard at Capital Economics.
“Credit growth is still more likely to slow over coming months as being the PBOC refrains from further easing and focuses more about credit risks. But with recent activity data also strengthening, we expect economic growth to boost across the remainder of the season.”
Data on Tuesday showed China’s factory output and retail sales also grew faster than expected in August like a strong housing marketplace and a government infrastructure spending spree underpinned increase in the world’s second-largest economy.
But August readings also highlighted imbalances inside the economy, with private investment growth at record lows and exports still sluggish.
China’s increasingly reliance on the home market is also a major concern, as increasing numbers of cities impose restrictions on home purchases within the face of sharply rising house prices, threatening to finish a near one-year rally.
A sharp price correction would add to strains on banks that are already wrestling with growing quantities of bad loans.
Household loans, mostly mortgages, taken into account 71 percent of total new bank loans in August, though they were down from over 90 percent in July, data showed.
“Home mortgages remain the main driver of loan growth, depending on booming housing market and weak loan demand from corporates,” David Qu and Raymond Yeung at ANZ said inside a note.
Outstanding yuan loans grew at 13 percent by month-end on an annual basis.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected new lending of 750 billion yuan, with outstanding loans seen rising 12.9 percent, and funds supply seen up 10.4 percent.
Total social financing (TSF), a broad measure of credit and liquidity in the economy, jumped to 1.47 trillion yuan in August from 487.9 billion yuan in July.
TSF includes off-balance sheet kinds of financing that exist outside of the conventional bank lending system, including initial public offers, 房屋貸款 from trust companies and bond sales.
M1 money supply, consisting of cash and short-term deposits, rose 25.3 percent in August coming from a year earlier. The widening gap between M1 and M2 growth has fueled concerns in regards to a “liquidity trap” in dexrpky35 economy where companies remain cautious about investing regardless how much stimulus money policymakers pump to the system.
“The rapid expansion of M1 money supply indicates corporates’ preference of holding cash as opposed to investment. This is certainly consistent with all the slowing trend in fixed asset investment with the private sector,” ANZ said.
Chester Liaw, an economist at Forecast Pte Ltd in Singapore, said the spread between M1 and M2 growth narrowed to 13.9 percentage points from 15.2 last month but “remains at elevated levels.”
The PBOC is aiming for annual M2 growth of around 13 percent this season, pointing to continued accommodative policy as Beijing pledges to set about painful economic restructuring involving state-owned enterprises in key industrial sectors.
Policy insiders have said that evidence companies and banks are hoarding cash, alongside concerns about property market as well as the yuan’s stability, has reinforced policymakers’ view there is absolutely no major benefit in easing policy further.