China cuts interest rates for 4th time, eases lending to small biz, to boost sluggish economy

Economic Indicators Associated Press

China's central bank has announced the fourth recent round of interest cuts and lower reserve requirement ratios for small businesses, as Beijing tries to shore up the country's sluggish economy.

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The People's Bank of China said Saturday that it would cut the rate on a one-year loan by commercial banks by 0.25 percentage point to 4.85 percent. The interest rate paid on a one-year deposit was lowered by 0.25 point to 2 percent.

Rates were cut on Nov. 22, March 1 and then May 11. The new rates take effect Sunday.

The central bank also says the reserve requirement ratios to small businesses would be lowered by 50 points, a move that would boost lending.

Economic growth has slowed in China, and its stock markets plunged Friday.