“The overall appetite for credit is still quite good,” said Yan Ling, an economist with China Merchants Securities. “It’s just that the banks are turning the lending activities off the balance sheet.” Chinese financial institutions issued 1.02 trillion yuan ($148 billion) in new loans in March, down from 1.17 trillion yuan in February, the People’s Bank of China said Friday. The lending came in below a median forecast of 1.225 trillion yuan in a Wall Street Journal poll of 13 economists.
Chinese banks normally rush to lend at the end of each quarter, but the central bank’s risk-control efforts, known as its macroprudential assessment, have curbed lending activities on banks’ balance sheet, said Ms. Yan. Overall lending rose, however. Total social financing, a measure that includes nonbank credit, stood at 2.12 trillion yuan in March, up sharply from 1.15 trillion yuan in February. The proportions of bank loans in total new credit dropped to 54% in March from nearly 89% in February.
As Beijing tries to reduce companies’ debt levels, it is counting more on accelerating fiscal spending on infrastructure and other public projects to support economic growth this year, said Jianguang Shen, an economist at Mizuho Securities. National fiscal expenditure — central and local governments included — rose 25.4% last month, compared with a year earlier
We don’t remember the term Social Financing, but it’s been in use in China for a long while, and at nearly $24,000,000,000,000 it’s not trivial.
Fun bonus: map.