24 Dec 2008

China cuts rates for fifth time

6:07 am on 24 December 2008

China trimmed interest rates on Monday to fend off a deepening economic slowdown. The cut is the fifth since mid-September.

The People's Bank of China cut one-year lending and deposit rates by 27 basis points - to 5.31% and 2.25% respectively.

The bank also lowered the amount of money that commercial lenders must keep on deposit with it.

Premier Wen Jiabao emphasised again on Monday that keeping the economy on track was his overriding priority.

Factory output expanded by only 5.4% in the year to November and exports declined for the first time in more than seven years. Consumer price inflation receded to 2.4% in November.