China posted a record Rmb 16.17 trillion ($2.4 trillion) in net new bank loans last year, backing up the government’s recent policies to boost lending as the economy faces a deepening slowdown, the South China Morning Post reports.
The 2018 figure far exceeds the previous record of Rmb 13.53 trillion, set the previous year, according to the People’s Bank of China. Outstanding loans were also up 13.5% compared with a year earlier, the central bank said.
Perhaps most importantly, debt issued by private enterprises jumped by 70% year-on-year in December.
China has been more actively employing easing measures such as reserve rate cuts to unleash liquidity into the banking sector. The economy slowed sharply in the second half of the year as a mixture of headwinds, including the US trade war, reared up.
Senior policy officials also signalled yesterday that more stimulus measures were in store, including tax reductions on a larger scale.