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China Center Chart of the Week: China’s Credit Intensity – Still Too High

­This chart shows China’s credit intensity ratio, which is the amount of new credit created relative to the additional amount of GDP produced – in other words, how much bang (growth) is China getting from each buck (RMB of credit)? We calculated the ratio for nominal GDP and real GDP using Total Social Financing (numerator) and annual GDP (denominator). With the exception of the bank-loan stimulus of 2009, the Chinese economy remained at a historically high level of credit dependency in 2013 – little changed from 2012. This was despite the easing of overall credit growth throughout the second half of the year (to 18 percent y-o-y in December 2013 from a peak of 22.1 percent in April). And while official data show slightly decreasing credit growth, anecdotal evidence suggests that it continues apace via new channels not currently tracked by TSF, such as securities brokers and quickly growing money market funds.

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