China’s bank lending in August greater than doubled through the previous month, but analysts said a lot of the gain was as a result of strong mortgage demand, contributing to evidence that Chinese companies are increasingly unwilling to make new investments.
The figures, and also other data this week, paint an image of any economy that is certainly improving slowly but increasingly reliant on a housing boom and government spending for growth.
Chinese banks extended 948.7 billion yuan ($142.23 billion) in 房貸 in August, well above expectations, while broad M2 money supply (M2) also grew by a more-than-expected 11.4 percent from the year earlier, in accordance with central bank data on Wednesday.
New bank lending rebounded sharply from July’s 463.6 billion yuan, that was the best in two years, while M2 quickened from July’s 10.2 percent rise, which was the weakest in 15 months.
The central bank has pledged to keep policy slightly loose, but sources say it really is hesitant to cut interest rates or bank reserves again inside the near term amid evidence that companies and banks are hoarding cash as an alternative to investing it.
“A renewed pick-up in credit growth last month will enhance the growing sense among investors the near-term outlook for China’s economy is fairly bright,” said Julian Evans-Pritchard at Capital Economics.
“Credit growth continues to be likely to slow over coming months since the PBOC refrains from further easing and focuses much more about credit risks. Though with recent activity data also strengthening, we expect economic growth to boost within the remainder of the year.”
Data on Tuesday showed China’s factory output and retail sales also grew faster than expected in August being a strong housing industry as well as a government infrastructure spending spree underpinned development in the world’s second-largest economy.
But August readings also highlighted imbalances inside the economy, with private investment growth at record lows and exports still sluggish.
China’s increasingly addiction to the home market can be another major concern, as more cities impose restrictions on home purchases from the face of sharply rising house prices, threatening to terminate a near one-year rally.
A sharp price correction would increase strains on banks that happen to be already wrestling with growing amounts of bad loans.
Household loans, mostly mortgages, included 71 percent of total new bank loans in August, though these people were down from greater than 90 percent in July, data showed.
“Home loans remain the key driver of loan growth, depending on booming housing industry and weak loan demand from corporates,” David Qu and Raymond Yeung at ANZ said within a note.
Outstanding yuan loans grew at 13 percent by month-end on an annual basis.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected new lending of 750 billion yuan, with outstanding loans seen rising 12.9 percent, and money supply seen up 10.4 percent.
Total social financing (TSF), an extensive measure of credit and liquidity from the economy, jumped to 1.47 trillion yuan in August from 487.9 billion yuan in July.
TSF includes off-balance sheet sorts of financing which one can find beyond the conventional bank lending system, such as initial public offers, 房屋貸款 from trust companies and bond sales.
M1 money supply, which include cash and short-term deposits, rose 25.3 percent in August from the year earlier. The widening gap between M1 and M2 growth has fueled concerns in regards to a “liquidity trap” in dexrpky35 economy where companies remain wary of investing regardless of how much stimulus money policymakers pump to the system.
“The rapid growth and development of M1 money supply indicates corporates’ preference of holding cash as opposed to investment. This can be consistent using the slowing trend in fixed asset investment with the private sector,” ANZ said.
Chester Liaw, an economist at Forecast Pte Ltd in Singapore, said the spread between M1 and M2 growth narrowed to 13.9 percentage points from 15.2 recently but “remains at elevated levels.”
The PBOC is focusing on annual M2 expansion of around 13 percent this year, pointing to continued accommodative policy as Beijing pledges to begin painful economic restructuring involving state-owned enterprises in key industrial sectors.
Policy insiders have said that evidence companies and banks are hoarding cash, alongside concerns about property market and also the yuan’s stability, has reinforced policymakers’ view there is no major benefit in easing policy further.