China has a lot of room to maneuver its policy and boost its economy having avoided using strong, short-term stimulus in recent years, Premier Li Keqiang said on Sunday, in a rare suggestion that authorities can do much more to stoke growth.
Li, addressing a news conference at the end of China's annual session of parliament, tried to allay fears about a stumbling economy by vowing to keep it growing at a reasonable speed, even as he acknowledged the job is not easy.
He assured his audience that policymakers would prop up the economy if growth was at risk of breaching a "lower limit", or hurt employment and income gains.
"In recent years, we have not taken any strong, short-term stimulus policies, so we can say our room for policy maneuver is relatively big, the tools in our toolbox comparatively many," Li said.
"If the slowdown in growth affects employment and incomes, and approaches the lower-limit of a reasonable range, we will stabilize policies and the market's long-term expectations for China," he said at a two-hour briefing.