China to step up implementation of ‘prudent’ monetary policy-central bank chief

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Governor of People's Bank of China (PBOC) Yi Gang attends a news conference on China's economic development ahead of the 70th anniversary of its founding, in Beijing

BEIJING – China’s economy is facing downward pressure due to COVID-19 and external shocks, and the central bank will “increase implementation of prudent monetary policy” to support the real economy, China’s central bank Governor Yi Gang said.

Yi made the comments via videolink during the meeting of G20 finance leaders in Indonesia, the People’s Bank of China said in a statement on Saturday.

On Friday, China reported that growth slowed sharply in the second quarter, increasing just 0.4% on the year, lagging expectations, as the world’s second-largest economy was hobbled by widespread lockdowns to extinguish outbreaks of COVID-19.

While June data showed signs of improvement, analysts do not expect a rapid recovery as China sticks to its tough zero-COVID policy, the country’s property market is in a deep slump and the global outlook is darkening.

During the G20 finance meetings in Bali, Chinese Finance Minister Liu Kun said by videolink that China will donate $50 million to a new pandemic prevention and response fund being set up by the World Bank.

(Reporting by Albee Zhang and Tony Munroe. Editing by Jane Merriman)