The People’s Bank of China, one of the world’s most secretive central banks, just slashed interest rates.
The one-year deposit rate just got cut 0.25 points to 2.75%.
And the refinancing rate was slashed 0.40 points to 3.60%.
That’s according to the Financial Times.
This is all in the face of a slowing economy. China’s once-famous growth rates have dropped, and the government is now pursuing a 7.5% annual rise in GDP. Some economists think even that rate is unrealistic.
China’s house prices are also dropping in the vast majority of the country, which is likely to throw some cold water over the economy. Interest rate cuts could go at least some of the way to counteracting that, or at least reducing the slump.
International economist Michael Pettis has explained the stakes for the world economy here; they’re absolutely colossal, given the proportion of the global output China now makes up.
There were recently rumours that Zhou Xiaochuan, head of the PBoC, was on his way out. But it’s often hard to tell what exactly is happening at the bank, with operations far more opaque than the other centres of monetary policy.