China cuts interest rates for third time in six months as economy sputters

China

A sign for pedestrians is seen in front of the headquarters of the People's Bank of China, China's central bank, in central Beijing November 24, 2014.  REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/Files

Kim Kyung-Hoon/Files

BY JUDY HUA AND KEVIN YAO

China cut interest rates for the third time in six months on Sunday in a bid to lower companies’ borrowing costs and stoke a sputtering economy that is headed for its worst year in a quarter of a century.

Analysts welcomed the widely-expected move, but predicted policymakers would relax reserve requirements and cut rates again in the coming months to counter the headwinds facing the world’s second-largest economy.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said on its website it was lowering its benchmark, one-year lending rate by 25 basis points to 5.1 percent from May 11. It cut the benchmark deposit rate by the same amount to 2.25 percent.

“China’s economy is still facing relatively big downward pressure,” the PBOC said.

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