China March loans surge to $405 billion as coronavirus stimulus kicks in
BEIJING: New bank lending in China rose sharply to 2.85 trillion yuan ($405 billion) in March, with total social financing hitting a record, as the central bank pumped in more liquidity and cut funding costs to support the coronavirus-ravaged economy. Chinese policymakers have pledged to combat the impact from the pandemic that looks to have tipped the world’s second-largest economy into its first quarterly contraction in at least 30 years.
While economic activity is gradually picking up as people return to work and factories reopen, analysts warn it could take months before the economy returns to normal. The spread of the virus around the world is also sparking fears of a global recession.
New loans in March far exceeded market expectations of 1.8 trillion yuan and were three times more than February’s 905.7 billion yuan. That nudged bank lending in the first quarter to a record 7.1 trillion yuan, beating a previous peak of 5.81 trillion yuan in the first quarter of 2019. - Reuters