China Surprises with Interest Rate Cut

China cut interest rates unexpectedly on Friday, stepping up a campaign to prop up growth in the world’s second-largest economy as it heads toward its slowest growth in nearly a quarter century.

The cut—the first such move in over two years—came as factory growth has stalled and the property market, long a pillar of growth, has remained weak, dragging on broader activity and curbing demand for everything from furniture to cement and steel.

“It’s a surprise, another Friday night special,” said Mark Williams, chief Asia economist with Capital Economics in London. “It may not have a major impact on GDP growth—that depends on if policymakers also allow the rate of credit growth to pick up.”


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