China added RMB483 billion in new RMB loans in December, a 23% decline from November’s RMB625 billion.
The new RMB loan number is below market expectations. The average forecast surveyed by Bloomberg expected China adding new loans of RMB570 billion in December.
For the year of 2013, total new RMB loans reached RMB8.9 trillion, up RMB688 billion compared with 2012.
Total social financing came to RMB1.23 trillion in December, unchanged from November. The broader credit measure hit RMB17.3 trillion, up RMB1.53 trillion from a year earlier.
"As the People’s Bank of China adopted a somewhat tighter stance on liquidity management from October, interbank rates rose and corporate and local government bond issuance eased," says Wang Tao, chief China economist at UBS AG.
"The moderation in credit growth in recent months will likely slow investment growth in the coming months, as anticipated in our current forecast for 2014 in general and the first quarter of 2014 in particular," she adds.
Mark Williams, chief Asia economist at London-based research firm Capital Economics, says that December’s credit data are likely to set the tone for 2014.
"Tighter monetary conditions are curbing credit growth. We expect this in turn to slow the growth of the economy," Williams says.