Chinese banks continued their lending spree in the month of February, the Wall Street Journal reported. The People’s Bank of China said on Thursday that February’s new renminbi loans totaled US$147 billion as Chinese banks have been encouraged to free up credit to boost the wider economy. But other economic data released on Thursday suggest Beijing’s measures have yet to result in an increase in real economic activity. Retail sales rose by 15% in January and February, down from the 19% rise seen in December. Statistics from the first two months of the year were combined due to the Lunar New Year holiday. Industrial production in the first two months of the year rose by 3.8% year-on-year, compared to 5.7% yearly rise posted in December.
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