China reported a surge in bank lending and sharply rising property prices last month, figures that reinforced growing worries that the world’s fastest-growing major economy risks inflating a new bubble. Easy credit has been a key driver of China’s economic recovery, and banks kept up their enthusiastic lending in January, extending 1.39 trillion yuan ($203.6 billion) of new loans in the month. That’s more than in the last three months of 2009 combined, and nearly a fifth of the government’s target of 7.5 trillion yuan in new loans for all of 2010.

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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