China central bank says policy tools can soften virus blow

Business | 7 Feb 2020 1:32 pm

China's vice central bank governor said today that there are plenty of policy tools to cushion the short-term impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak on the economy.

The epidemic might disturb economic activities in the first quarter of this year, but the impact is temporary, Pan Gongsheng, vice head of the People's Bank of China, told a press conference.

Given previous experience, the economy is likely to be steady shortly after the epidemic is contained, as the unleashing of pent-up demand will make up for previous weak economic performance, Pan said.

"China's sound economic fundamentals for long-term and high-quality growth remain unchanged despite the epidemic," he said.

Pan pointed out that China has leeway in its monetary policies as the country's macro leverage level remains stable.

The central bank will walk a fine line between supporting economic growth and keeping a lid on the leverage level, Pan said.

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