The Financial Times reports that Chinese credit growth slowed last month, a sign that Beijing policymakers are balancing pro-growth stimulus ahead of a political transition against the need to address the risk from rising debt. Chinese banks traditionally splurge on lending in January, following the renewal of lending quotas at the start of each year. But central bank data released on Tuesday show new local-currency bank loans were Rmb2.13tn ($310bn) last month, far above the Rmb994bn in December but below the Rmb2.54tn in January last year. Economists have warned that growth in debt – especially corporate borrowing – poses a threat to financial stability in China and the country’s medium-term growth prospects. Communist party leaders have acknowledged the risks, but they have shown reluctance to accept the short-term pain that would likely accompany aggressive deleveraging.
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