New loans in China surged to a record high in January — and analysts say it could be a sign that government stimulus is "finally kicking in," which may be good news for the economy.
The world's second-largest economy expanded 6.6 percent in 2018, the slowest growth in 28 years.
The slowdown was in part due to official efforts to reduce alarmingly high debt levels which started three years ago. Clamping down on credit, in particular non-traditional forms of lending known as "shadow banking," suppressed economic activity and pushed growth lower.
But the onset of the tariff war with the United States and the pace of the slowdown forced a rethink. Last year, authorities began taking steps to encourage banks to lend more, cut taxes and support small- and medium-sized companies.