Photo taken on Aug 17, 2023 shows US dollars and Chinese yuan in Fuyang city, East China’s Anhui province.

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China’s banks kept their benchmark loan rates unchanged for September, after the slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy showed signs of stabilization following recent policy support.

The People’s Bank of China kept its one-year loan prime rate — the peg for most household and corporate loans in China — unchanged at 3.45%. The five-year benchmark loan rate — the peg for most mortgages — was held at 4.2%, according to a statement Wednesday from the People’s Bank of China.

Wednesday’s announcement is aligned with economists’ expectations for September after the PBOC kept its medium-term policy rate steady last Friday, following a second cut in the reserve requirement ratio requirements this year for all banks announced last Thursday.

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China’s August retail sales and industrial production data released Friday beat expectations.

They corroborated with other data points released in the last three weeks — from inflation rates and trade volumes to the purchasing managers index, typically seen as leading indicators — that also pointed to nascent signs of improvement in the economy.

In August, China trimmed its one-year benchmark lending rate by 10 basis points in a second reduction in three months, while unexpectedly keeping its five-year benchmark lending rate unchanged.

China’s loan prime rate is calculated each month from the proposed rates the People’s Bank of China receives from 18 designated commercial banks.

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