Sunday, April 12, 2009

Paper Dragon money supply... growing far faster than "official" figures would suggest.
By Kevin Hamlin and Dune Lawrence

April 12 (Bloomberg) -- China’s central bank said it will ensure sufficient liquidity to sustain economic growth, damping speculation regulators may seek to restrain credit after new loans jumped sixfold to a record in March.

The People’s Bank of China “will implement moderately loose monetary policy and maintain the continuity and stability of policy,” the central bank said on its Web site today. It pledged “ample liquidity” to “ensure money supply and loan growth meet economic development needs.”

The statement indicates that reviving growth remains China’s priority amid concern that the credit boom will lead to bad debts and asset bubbles. The world’s third-largest economy, while showing better-than-expected performance in the first quarter, still faces “great difficulties,” Premier Wen Jiabao told reporters in Thailand yesterday.

“It’s likely that the authorities will not change their stimulative policy at least for another month,” said Stephen Green, head of China research at Standard Chartered Plc in Shanghai. “This means fast loan growth will continue. The longer this goes on, though, the bigger the risk of asset bubbles developing becomes.”

New loans rose to 1.89 trillion yuan ($277 billion) in March, the central bank said yesterday. M2, the broadest measure of money supply, grew 25.5 percent, the most since Bloomberg began compiling data in 1998 and more than the 21.5 percent median estimate in a survey of 12 economists.

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