Money in China is stuck in banks, with the gap between deposits and loans hitting the highest on record at the end of last year amid an uncertain economic outlook, reports Nikkei Asia. Deposits outpaced loans by RMB 44.51 trillion ($6.57 trillion), the largest gap since 1997, the People’s Bank of China reported. Data from before that year is unavailable.
The balance of deposits denominated in Chinese currency stood at RMB 258.5 trillion, up 11.3% from a year earlier. Loan balances totaled RMB 213.99 trillion, an increase of 11.1%. This marks the first time in 12 years that deposits grew more sharply than loans.
Concerns grew last year about the future of corporate and household finances due to China’s strict zero-COVID policies—which recently were eased—coupled with a slump in the housing market.