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China Raises Interest Rates For First Time in 9 Years

China's central bank says it is raising its benchmark one-year lending rate by more than a quarter of a percentage point, a move that analysts say is part of the government's continuing effort to slow the country's fast-growing economy.

It is the first time since 1995 that China's leaders have made a major adjustment of the one-year lending rate, up .27 of a percentage point, from 5.31 to 5.58 percent.

The move by the People's Bank of China follows earlier news that inflation in one of the world's fastest growing economies had risen above five percent.

Some analysts called the central bank's move a turning point for China's interest rate cycle. Rates have been dropping for nine years, and now analysts say they are likely to start an upward trend.

China's leaders have been taking a series of measures aimed at slowing the economy, which continues to grow at a breakneck pace. Despite moves that have included easing investment in active sectors such as steel production, automobile manufacturing, and real estate, officials last week said growth in the third quarter was more than nine percent.

The figure is slightly lower than a year earlier, but some analysts say it is still too high to allay fears of an overheating economy.