PBOC Cuts Rates to 5.1% as Economy Splutters

China’s central bank cut its benchmark lending rate by 25 basis points to 5.1 percent on Sunday, its third reduction since November, as economic growth cools to levels not seen since the global financial crisis.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) also reduced one-year benchmark deposit rates by 25 basis points to 2.25 percent, it said in a statement on its website, adding that the reductions would be effective on May 11.

The central bank said the move would support the healthy development of the economy.  Economists had said it was not a matter of if, but when China eased policy again after economic growth in the first quarter cooled to 7 percent, the slowest pace since 2009.