BEIJING — China’s central bank said in a report that the corporate lending cost went down in the fourth quarter of 2018 thanks to the government effort to tackle financing difficulties for the real economy.
The weighted average interest rate for non-financial companies and other organizations stood at 5.63 percent in December, down 0.11 percentage points from a year ago and 0.31 percentage points from September, according to the quarterly report of the People’s Bank of China.
“Measures to support private, small and micro enterprises were gradually taking effect,” said the report.
The interest rate for loans to businesses dropped for four consecutive months, and the lending cost for micro firms declined for five straight months.
The report also said that China’s overall social financing costs, taking into account bank loans, bonds and off-balance sheet financing, went down at the end of December from a year ago.
Given continued downward pressure on the economy, China has launched various measures to direct funds to cash-starved businesses to help them weather out economic hardship.
The central bank has cut the level of cash that banks must hold for reserves to unleash more loans from the banking system and given incentives to lenders willing to put more emphasis on financing services to small- and medium-sized enterprises.