BEIJING - China's central bank said on Tuesday that demand from the real economy for credit remains relatively strong and credit support for the real economy is increasing.

The comments, made by Ruan Jianhong, head of the central bank's statistics department, came after official data showed China's banks extended more new yuan loans than expected in September as policymakers ramped up efforts to stabilise the cooling economy as U.S. trade pressures build. 

Medium and long-term corporate loans were picking up, while property loan growth was slowing, Ruan told reporters at a press conference, adding that the central bank would guide financial institutions to step up lending support for small firms.

(Reporting by Kevin Yao and Lusha Zhang; Editing by Alex Richardson) ((; 8610-56692106;))