Strong China January import-export trade shows economy's rebound intact
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"As the economy transits into another stage of growth, economic controls need to always emphasise containing inflation risks," the People's Bank of China said in a fourth-quarter monetary policy report published on Wednesday, shifting the bias of policy back to inflation from growth risks.
The trajectory of money supply is also important against that backdrop, with bank lending a focal point for investors trying to assess the bias of monetary policy as loans are made at Beijing's behest in the state-directed financial system.
China's new yuan loans may have totalled 1 trillion yuan in January, according to a Reuters poll - up sharply on December's 454.3 billion yuan and November's 522.9 billion yuan.
A surge could indicate a supportive policy stance - despite the PBOC's inflation alert - as well as strong credit demand in the real economy, but it could just as easily show banks flush with fresh state-directed lending quotas and anxious to put them to work early.
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