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Chinese Central Bank to Ease Lending Restrictions

A 100 Yuan note (file photo).
A 100 Yuan note (file photo).

China's central bank has announced plans to lower reserve requirements for the country's banks.

The bank said Wednesday that it will reduce the amount of money banks must hold as reserves by half a percent (0.5) starting December 5.

China's state-run Xinhua news agency says the cut is the first of its kind since December 2008.

The move is the latest in a series of measures aimed at tackling concerns that economic slowdowns in Europe and the United States could lead to reduced growth in China.

Last month, the government's statistics bureau said the nation's economy grew at a 9.1 percent annual pace in the three months through September 30. That compares to 9.5 percent growth in the previous three months.

China's booming economy has been a major engine in the growth of the global economy, but the European debt crisis and high unemployment in the United States have weakened demand for Chinese-made goods.

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