China cuts interest rates again to support economy

China cuts interest rates again to support economy
PHOTO: Reuters

BEIJING - China's central bank cut its benchmark lending rates by 25 basis points to 4.85 percent on Saturday, the fourth reduction since November, as it gears up to lower borrowing costs and support a slowing economy.

The People's Bank of China (PBOC) also reduced one-year benchmark deposit rates by 25 basis points to 2 percent, it said in a statement on its website, adding that the reductions would take effect on Sunday.

The PBOC last cut interest rates on May 10, lowering one-year benchmark lending rates by 25 basis points to 5.1 percent, and lowering one-year benchmark deposit rates by 25 basis points, to 2.25 percent.

Weighed down by a property downturn, factory overcapacity and local debt, growth in China's economy is expected to slow to a quarter-century low of around 7 percent this year.

That is down from 7.4 percent in 2014, even with expected additional stimulus measures.

While more cuts had been expected as economic growth sputters, Saturday's changes follow a plunge of 20 percent in China's stock market in the last two weeks.

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