BEIJING, Mar. 15 -- The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the country's central bank, said Monday that new yuan-denominated loans stood at 535.6 billion yuan (81.52 billion U.S. dollars) in February.
The figure was 192.9 billion yuan less than February last year, said the PBOC in a statement on its website.
By the end of February, the balance of outstanding yuan-denominated loans stood at 48.89 trillion yuan, up 17.7 percent from a year earlier. The rise was 9.5 percentage points lower than the rise a year earlier.
China's broad money supply (M2), which covers cash in circulation and all deposits, increased 15.7 percent year on year to 73.61 trillion yuan by the end of February. The rise was 9.8 percentage points lower than the same period last year.
The narrow measure of money supply (M1), cash in circulation plus current corporate deposits, climbed 14.5 percent from a year earlier to 25.91 trillion yuan.
New yuan-denominated deposits stood at 1.31 trillion yuan in February.The figure was 333.4 billion yuan more than February last year, said the statement.
The balance of outstanding yuan-denominated deposits rose 17.6 percent year on year to 72.59 trillion yuan by the end of February. The rise was 0.2 percentage points higher than the rise of January.
February's new loans were less than 600 billion yuan as the market expected, said Zhou Wenyuan with Guotai & Junan Securities.
Zhou predicted that 2011 new yuan-dominated loans are likely to be less than 7 trillion yuan as the central bank maintains a tight credit control as it tries to soak up liquidity.
New yuan-denominated lending reached 7.95 trillion yuan last year, exceeding government's 7.5-trillion-yuan target ceiling.