Chinese banks issued 700.1 billion yuan ($102.6 billion) in new yuan-denominated loans in February, down 34.67 percent from 1,070 billion yuan a year earlier and almost by half from January's 1.39 trillion yuan, the People’s Bank of China announced Thursday.
Analysts attributed the decline to repeated government calls to rein in lending for fears of inflation and bad loans.
New loans had neared 600 billion yuan before Feb 13 - the start of the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, Shanghai Securities Journal reported earlier.
The broad M2 measure of money supply, which covers cash in circulation and all deposits, went up 25.52 percent in February from a year earlier to 63.6 trillion yuan, 0.56 percentage point lower than the rate in January, the central bank said.
The narrow M1 measure of money supply, which covers cash in circulation plus current corporate deposits, rose 34.99 percent year-on-year to 22.43 trillion yuan, 3.97 percentage points lower than the growth in the previous month, it said.