BEIJING, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- China's new yuan-denominated lending in August rose to 703.9 billion yuan (about 111.7 billion U.S. dollars), marking an increase of 155.5 billion yuan year on year.
The People's Bank of China (PBOC), the central bank, made the announcement in a statement issued Tuesday.
Analysts said the August figure beat market expectations of 600 to 630 billion yuan, and they attributed the growth to increasing housing turnover and the government's new investment prod.
Bonds have become a major financing source for companies, according to the PBOC statement.
Preliminary data show that, driven by both new loans and bond issuances, social financing, a measure of funds raised by entities in the real economy, totaled 1.24 trillion yuan in August, up 188.5 billion yuan from July and 166.6 billion yuan from the same period in 2011, said the PBOC.
From January to August, social financing amounted to 10.07 trillion yuan, up 691.5 billion yuan from the same period in 2011, said the bank.
New yuan-denominated lending in July declined sharply to 540.1 billion yuan, the lowest since September 2011. This compares to new loans of 919.8 billion yuan in June, which hit a three-month high after reaching 1.01 trillion yuan in March.
Tuesday's statement did not include other data such as the M1 and M2, the narrow and broad measures of money supply, respectively.
Analysts said new lending would maintain stable growth in the future as China's inflation made a slight rebound in August due to higher food prices, making it harder for authorities to balance inflation control and monetary easing in a slowing economy.
To boost growth, authorities may lower banks' reserve requirement ratio again, they said.
The central bank has cut its lending and deposit rates twice this year, and has lowered the amount of funds that banks must keep in reserve.
Using an investment prod to stimulate the economy, China's top economic planner approved 55 investment projects worth 1 trillion yuan in two days last week to build highways, ports and railways across the country.
China will continue its proactive fiscal policy and prudent monetary policy to maintain economic growth and keep prices stable, President Hu Jintao said in a keynote speech delivered Saturday at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO summit held in Russia.