The Wall Street Journal reports that China’s M1 money supply, a measure of the most liquid assets in the banking system such as cash and certain types of demand deposits, is growing at its fastest pace in six years. Meanwhile, M2 money supply, a broader gauge of liquidity including longer-term deposits, expanded at the slowest rate in a year. In other words, money is being created, but it isn’t being used to consume or invest. One explanation is that new money is going to pay down old debts. Also, companies could be cash-hoarding, taking out loans but not deploying the money because either there isn’t anywhere to put it or other restrictions stop them from doing so.
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