China’s central bank cut interest rates for the third time in six months as it ratchets up support for an economy grappling with a debt overhang and property slump.
The People’s Bank of China reduced the one-year lending rate 0.25 percentage point to 5.1 percent and cut the one-year deposit rate by the same amount to 2.25 percent, effective Monday. In another step to free up interest rates, the central bank will also raise the limit on what banks can pay savers.
Inflation remained subdued and exports and imports both slid in April — underscoring the economy’s struggle to match Premier Li Keqiang’s 2015 growth target of about 7 percent. With capital flowing abroad and local governments embroiled in a complex debt cleanup, economists anticipate further easing.