China Eases Up on Banks to Boost Economy

BEIJING (AFP) — China’s central bank Friday announced it was cutting the reserve requirements for banks, in a bid to boost lending and bolster the slowing economy.

The People’s Bank of China will cut the reserve requirement ratio on Sept. 16 by 50 basis points, it said in a statement, reducing the amount of cash banks must hold.

State news agency Xinhua described the decision as “the latest effort to bolster the economy,” while the People’s Bank said it had cut the requirement “to support the development of real economy.”

Lowering the reserve requirement for banks frees up more money for lending to small businesses, and the latest cut follows a drop in May this year.

China’s State Council signaled that the move was being considered earlier this week, after a Wednesday meeting discussed policy tools, including an increase in the use of local government bonds to finance infrastructure projects.

Ting Lu, chief China economist at Nomura investment bank, said in a note that a reserve requirement cut is “a signal that Beijing is becoming increasingly worried about the worsening slowdown” and wants to stabilize growth.

China’s economic growth has been slowing in recent years, and has been hit by the bruising trade war with the United States.

The reserve cut came a day after China confirmed it would resume trade talks in Washington in early October, raising hopes that fresh negotiations could help ease tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

Both sides imposed fresh tariffs on goods worth hundreds of billions of dollars on Sept. 1.

© Agence France-Presse

%d bloggers like this: