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By Peng Qinqin and Han Wei / May 11, 2019 02:47 AM / Finance

Photo: Bloomberg

Photo: Bloomberg

Officials of China’s central bank said Friday that there are plenty of policy tools and ample room for maneuver for the country to respond to internal and external uncertainties.

The comments came as China reported slower credit growth in April while facing renewed tariff clashes with the United States.

Hours before the central bank briefing, the U.S. increased tariffs on $200 billion a year of Chinese imports to 25% from 10%. China’s Ministry of Commerce responded by saying Beijing will retaliate. The escalation came as high-level bilateral negotiations to resolve the trade dispute were going on in Washington.

“In the face of a changing economic environment at home and abroad, China has ample room for monetary policy and plenty of tools in its policy kit, making it capable of responding,” said Sun Guofeng, head of the monetary policy department of the People's Bank of China.

Central bank data released Thursday indicated slower credit growth in April after a surge in March, fueling concerns over slowing economic growth and sparking expectations of further loosening of monetary policy.

The slower-than-expected April figures reflected mainly seasonal factors, and overall credit has remained on a rising track, said Zhang Wenhong, the central bank’s deputy statistics chief, at the same briefing.

The central bank will maintain a prudent monetary policy while keeping liquidity reasonably ample, Sun said. The monetary authority will properly manage money supply and fine-tune policies according to changes in economic conditions, Sun said.

Related: China’s Credit Growth Slows After March Surge

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