China’s April new yuan loans seen falling, policy support in place- Reuters poll

By Thomson Reuters May 9, 2024 | 4:24 AM

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s new yuan loans likely dropped sharply in April from March due mainly to seasonal factors, a Reuters poll showed, even as the central bank keeps policy support for the economy.

Chinese banks are expected to have issued 800 billion yuan ($110.7 billion) in net new yuan loans last month, compared with 3.09 trillion yuan in March, according to the median estimate in the survey of 21 economists.

But the expected new loans would be higher than 718.8 billion yuan issued in the same month a year earlier.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) is expected to release April credit data between May 10 and 15.

“April is a low season for new credit,” analysts at Citi said in a note. “Even with the PBOC’s new re-lending tool, new RMB loans could stay low at 800 billion yuan in April amid property weakness.”

China’s central bank said last month that it would set up a 500-billion yuan re-lending programme to support the country’s science and technology sectors.

China’s economy grew 5.3% in the first quarter, faster than expected, offering some relief to officials as they try to shore up growth in the face of protracted weakness in the property sector and mounting local government debt. However, some March indicators showed that demand at home remains frail, weighing on overall momentum.

The Communist Party’s top decision-making body, the Politburo, said in late April that China would step up support for the economy with prudent monetary and proactive fiscal policies, including interest rates and bank reserve requirement ratios (RRR).

China will issue ultra-long term special treasury bonds as soon as possible and speed up the issuance of local government special bonds to maintain the necessary intensity of fiscal expenditure, it said.

China has pledged that the growth of total social financing (TSF), a broad measure of credit and liquidity, and money supply will match expected goals on economic growth and inflation this year.

Outstanding yuan loans were expected to grow by 9.7% in April from a year earlier, up from 9.6% in March, the poll showed. Broad M2 money supply growth in April was seen at 8.3%, the same as in March.

Any acceleration in government bond issuance could help boost total social financing (TSF), a broad measure of credit and liquidity.

Outstanding TSF was 8.7% higher at the end of March than a year earlier, growing slower than the 9.0% annual rate seen at the end of February.

In April, TSF is expected to fall to 1.00 trillion yuan from 4.87 trillion yuan in March.

($1 = 7.2241 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Judy Hua and Kevin Yao; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)