View of the People's Bank of China in Beijing. Photo: AFP/Wang Zhao

Chinese state media reported Thursday that new loans from Chinese banks in February totaled 1.17 trillion yuan (just under US$170 billion). The number fell far below the near-record 2.03 trillion total in January, but did not go as far as analyst forecasts. Reuters reported increased caution in corporate bond issuance, and a drop in household loans, both signs that bankers are reducing exposure to shadow banking activities. Polls show that the central bank is expected to continue raising short-term interest rates in the coming months.