China’s central bank vows to step up support

BEIJING: China’s central bank will step up support for the economy to cushion the blow from a coronavirus outbreak, but activity is expected to recover once the virus is brought under control, one of its deputy governors said on Friday.
The People’s Bank of China is closely watching the impact of the outbreak on the world’s second-largest economy, and is preparing policy tools to offset the pressure, Vice-Governor Pan Gongsheng told a news briefing on Friday.
“In terms of monetary policy, the next step is to strengthen counter-cyclical adjustments, maintain reasonable and ample liquidity and provide a sound monetary and financial environment for the real economy,” Pan said.
“In the context of the epidemic and the downward pressure on the economy, it is more important to maintain economic growth.”
Widespread travel and public health restrictions are taking a increasing toll on tourism, restaurants and other parts of the services sector, while many factories have suspended operations until next week or longer as authorities try to contain the virus’ spread. — Reuters