THE after-effects of Lunar New Year gave a strong boost to demand deposits in March, while other deposits increased moderately. The Hong Kong Monetary Authority yesterday said all monetary aggregates recorded growth in March except currency held by the public. Total Hong Kong-dollar deposits grew by 2.2 per cent in March, compared to 2.1 per cent in February. Hong Kong-dollar demand deposits, savings deposits and time deposits rose 5.9 per cent, 0.3 per cent and 2.4 per cent respectively. Reasons for the rise in demand deposits included increased transactions partly owing to the improved performance of the stock and property markets, and the unwinding of the new year effect on notes in circulation with the public. However, foreign-currency swap deposits continued to fall sharply, reflecting the second stage of deregulation of the interest-rate cap on Hong Kong-dollar time deposits, which took effect from January 3. A 10.4 per cent reduction in March brought the total decline since the November peak to 32 per cent.