Chinese bank lending fell well below forecasts in January as restrictions on credit issuance and money supply started to yield an impact, Reuters reported. The People’s Bank of China said that new lending for the month totalled around US$158 billion, much lower than economists projections of US$182 billion. Wang Hu, an analyst at Guotai Junan Securities in Shanghai, said that although lower than expected, "the figure is still very strong and reflects a robust demand for loans in the first month of this year." China’s broad M2 measure of money supply grew 17.2% in January, down from 19.7% in December, while loans outstanding at the end of the month were up 18.5% year-on-year, compared to 19.9% in December. Economists had predicted an 18.9% increase in M2 and an 18.7% rise in outstanding loans.