New bank loans soared sharply in March and April, signalling Beijing's measures to boost the economy through spending on infrastructure and housing had started to take effect. The official Xinhua news agency, quoting the central People's Bank of China (PBOC), said figures showed bank lending for the first four months reached 153.75 billion yuan (about HK$143.14 billion), the bulk of which occurred in March and April. Xinhua said that for the first time this year, medium- and long-term loans rose by 10.76 billion yuan in April, reversing a downward trend. 'This indicates following the central bank's measures to adjust its monetary policies, the moves to stimulate domestic demand and infrastructure investment have started to take effect,' Xinhua said. It said by the end of April, the country's outstanding bank loans reached 7.66 trillion yuan, of which more than six trillion came from state banks. The PBOC figures showed the broad money supply (M2) stood at 9.3 trillion yuan at the end of April, up 14.6 per cent over the same period last year, while the narrow money supply (M1) rose 11.2 per cent to 3.33 trillion yuan.