BEIJING, May 12 -- China's new yuan-denominated lending amounted to 774.7 billion yuan (124.2 billion U.S. dollars) in April, substantially less than 1.05 trillion yuan in March, central bank data showed on Monday.
On a year-on-year basis, the volume was down 17.6 billion yuan, said the People's Bank of China in an online statement.
M2, a broad measure of money supply that covers cash in circulation and all deposits, increased 13.2 percent year on year to 116.88 trillion yuan at the end of April, the bank said.
The growth pace was 1.1 percentage points higher than the previous month but 2.9 percentage points lower than the same month last year.
The narrow measure of money supply (M1), which covers cash in circulation plus demand deposits, expanded 5.5 percent to 32.45 trillion yuan as of the end of last month.
China's total social financing aggregate, a broad measure of liquidity in the economy, came in at 7.18 trillion yuan in the first four months.
The latest data came amid increasing signs of a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy, which together with low inflation, has fanned speculation that the government will ease monetary policies.
China's consumer price index, a main gauge of inflation, increased 1.8percent year on year in April, official data showed.
The economy grew by 7.4 percent in the first quarter this year, down from 7.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 and marking the lowest quarterly growth level since the third quarter of 2012.