News / Asia

China, Europe Cut Key Lending Rates

A 100 Euro banknote is placed on top of a 100 yuan banknote in this illustration taken in Beijing, November 7, 2010.A 100 Euro banknote is placed on top of a 100 yuan banknote in this illustration taken in Beijing, November 7, 2010.
x
A 100 Euro banknote is placed on top of a 100 yuan banknote in this illustration taken in Beijing, November 7, 2010.
A 100 Euro banknote is placed on top of a 100 yuan banknote in this illustration taken in Beijing, November 7, 2010.
VOA News
Two of the world's biggest economies - China and the 17-nation euro currency bloc - are cutting key lending rates in a new effort to boost their flagging economic fortunes.

The Chinese central bank Thursday cut its benchmark lending rate for the second time in a month, signaling that the world's second largest economy is slumping and faced with its biggest economic challenge since the 2008 worldwide recession. Beijing trimmed its one-year lending rate by nearly a third of a percentage point to 6 percent and said banks could offer even steeper discounts to borrowers.

China has offered numerous stimulus measures after its economic output dropped to a three-year low of 8.1 percent in the early months of the year. It has cut gasoline prices and promised more spending on low-cost housing and other public projects.   

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank cuts it key lending rate to a record low - down a quarter of a percent to three-quarters of one percent - as the eurozone economy contracts slightly.

In addition, the Bank of England moved to boost the British economy, which is outside the eurozone but deeply dependent on trading with its European neighbors. The British central bank pumped $78 billion into the country's recession-hit economy.

European Central Bank Chief Mario Draghi said inflation has stabilized in the eurozone at just below 2 percent, but economic growth in the region remains sluggish. "Inflationary pressure over the policy-relevant horizon has been dampened further as some of the previously identified downside risks to euro area growth outlook have materialized," he said.

"Consistent with this picture, the underlying base of monetary expansion remains subdued" he said. "Inflationary expectations for the euro area economy continued to be firmly anchored in line with our aim of maintaining inflation rates below, but close to two percent over the medium term," added Draghi. "At the same time, economic growth in the euro area continues to remain weak with heightened uncertainty weighing on confidence and sentiment."

The precarious financial state of debt-ridden Greece continues to be one of the eurozone's biggest economic problems. International auditors are in Athens to look at the government's progress in meeting the austerity pledges it agreed to as it secured a $168 billion bailout earlier this year, its second rescue package in two years.

New Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras told reporters that some of the spending cuts it promised are "off track" and that the country faces "difficult years" in its recovery effort.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid