Vastavam web: China’s central bank left its short-term borrowing rates unchanged on Thursday, choosing not to follow its U.S. counterpart, which raised its benchmark rate just hours earlier. The decision follows the bank’s announcement Wednesday of a new lending tool, the Targeted Medium-Term Lending Facility (TMLF), aimed at spurring lending to smaller firms. On Wednesday, the U.S. Federal Reserve raised its benchmark fund rates, the fourth such increase this year, but the PBOC has only followed suit once, increasing its short- and medium-term interest rates by 5 basis points in March.
The world’s two largest economies have adopted diverging policy paths this year, with China leaning towards an easing monetary and credit stance to reduce financial costs for private business and support the broad economy. The PBOC has made four targeted reductions to the amount of money that banks are forced to hold in reserve, known as reserve requirement ratios (RRR), so far this year.