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An aerial drone photo taken on Jan. 26, 2024 shows a view of Junying Village in the city of Xiamen, southeast China’s Fujian Province. (Photo by Yang Jinfu/Xinhua)

BEIJING, Feb. 16 (Xinhua) — China’s inclusive finance sector maintained rapid loan expansion in 2023 as the country stepped up credit support for the real economy, a central bank report showed.

China’s outstanding balance of small and micro loans reached 29.4 trillion yuan (about 4.14 trillion U.S. dollars) as of the end of 2023, up 23.5 percent from the end of 2022, according to the report from the People’s Bank of China.

By the end of last year, the outstanding loans extended to rural households for production grew 18 percent year on year to 9.24 trillion yuan, while the outstanding student loans reached 218.4 billion yuan, up 22.4 percent year on year.

The report also showed that the country’s outstanding agriculture-related loans in yuan and foreign currencies reached 56.6 trillion yuan by the end of 2023, up 14.9 percent from the end of the previous year.  ■

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