(Bloomberg) -- China’s central bank governor Pan Gongsheng downplayed risks from deflation and a weakening yuan and stressed that his econony’s strong start to 2024 put the official 5% growth target within reach.

The economy expanded 5.3% in the first quarter from a year before, and “this good start has laid a solid foundation for achieving the annual economic and social development goals,” Pan said in a statement to the International Monetary and Financial Committee during a meeting in Washington on Friday.

Read More: Chinese Economy’s Strong Start to 2024 Is Already Fading 

The People’s Bank of China has maintained the yuan exchange rate “basically stable at an adaptive and equilibrium level,” Pan said, adding that consumer prices were “generally stable.” 

He acknowledged the consumer price index was flat in the first three months from a year ago, though mentioned that core inflation — stripping out volatile food and energy prices — was 0.7% higher on year. 

The comments highlighted an effort to allay fears as the Federal Reserve delays any interest-rate cuts, which has pressured the yuan, along with other major currencies, and constrained the PBOC’s space to ease monetary policy. 

Despite better-than-expected growth in the first quarter, China is confronting the longest deflation streak since the 1990s, with economy-wide prices declining for four straight quarters.

Pan also said that China has effectively mitigated risk related to local government debt. His indicators included improved settlement of government debts owed to companies, falling levels of off-budget debts that have implicit government guarantees, and a decline in the number of local government financing vehicles, which are used to raise off-budget debt.

He called on members of the International Monetary Fund to push for a quota-share realignment as soon as possible, in order to increase the representation of emerging markets and better reflect the relative weights of member countries in the global economy. 

On debt treatment for low-income countries struggling to repay their borrowing, Pan called on private creditors to participate “on a comparable basis in a timely manner.”

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