Chinese banks extended 1.45 trillion yuan ($201.5 billion) in new yuan loans in February, according to Reuters calculations based on central bank data, down sharply from January and falling short of analyst expectations.

Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted new yuan loans would fall to 1.50 trillion yuan in February from 4.92 trillion yuan the previous month and against 1.81 trillion yuan a year earlier.

Chinese banks made 6.37 trillion yuan in new yuan loans in the first two months of 2024, data released by the People's Bank of China showed on Friday.

The central bank did not give loan figures for February alone.

Broad M2 money supply grew 8.7% from a year earlier, below estimates of 8.8% forecast in the Reuters poll. M2 grew 8.7% in January from a year ago.

Outstanding yuan loans grew 10.1% in February from a year earlier compared with 10.4% growth in January. Analysts had expected 10.2% growth.

($1 = 7.1965 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Judy Hua and Kevin Yao; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)