Chinese banks extended 1.87 trillion yuan ($273.60 billion) in new loans in March, a record high, according to a macroeconomic analyst who wished to remain anonymous.
"If it's true, it's really a surprising number," said Lian Ping, chief economist with Bank of Communications. Lian said his estimate was about 1 trillion yuan.
New yuan loans totaled 2.67 trillion yuan in the first two months, more than half of the government target of at least 5 trillion yuan for all of this year. Zhang Jianhua, head of the research bureau with the central bank, said earlier that China would continue the "explosive growth" in new lending in March.
"A strong loan growth is reasonable," said Dong Xian'an, macroeconomic analyst with Southwest Securities. "There are already signs of rising investment sentiment, and commercial banks have the impetus to grab a large share of the infrastructure projects."
Premier Wen Jiabao said in his government work report at the 11th National People's Congress (NPC) session last month that the country's new yuan lending should exceed 5 trillion yuan this year.
Dong estimated that China's total new yuan lending could reach 6 trillion yuan in 2009. China International Capital Corp said new loans could amount to 8 trillion yuan this year.