Lending activity at China's banks hits lowest level in nearly 5 years despite Beijing's efforts to boost activity and prop up its slowing economy
- Chinese banks loaned out the least amount of money since December 2017, according to Bloomberg.
- Institutions made 615 billion yuan in new loans in October, down 2.5 trillion yuan from September, the People's Bank of China said Thursday.
China's financial institutions doled out the least amount of money last month since December 2017 despite Beijing's recent efforts to boost lending, according to data from the People's Bank of China cited by Bloomberg.
Chinese banks and firms lended 615 billion yuan ($84.8 billion) in new loans in October, a steep drop from September's 2.5 trillion yuan. Similarly, aggregate financing slipped from 3.5 trillion yuan to 908 billion yuan in the same stretch, Bloomberg reports, which marks the lowest mark for October since 2019.
Analysts at Goldman Sachs noted before the data release that broader economic declines likely dragged on overall credit demand. Credit growth typically slips in October given that banks are less likely to lend cash in the beginning of a quarter.
While results have appeared mixed so far, in recent months Beijing has moved to encourage lending and financing. For instance, policymakers cleared the way for local governments to sell more bonds, and ordered policy banks to invest in infrastructure projects.
Those measures were not able to mitigate the weakening in corporate borrowing for October, however, as companies are signaling that new investments are slowing down.
China's economy has faltered through 2022 as leaders insist on COVID-zero mandates. Factory and services activity has shrunk, and for the first time in over two years both imports and exports dropped in October, Bloomberg reported.
Throughout these snags, an ailing property sector continues to weigh on China. The latest development here is a government initiative to expand a financing program that helps private firms, including property developers, sell more bonds.
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