BOK chief suggests 2.0% growth for full 2019 may be unachievable

2020.01.03 13:53:23 | 2020.01.03 13:53:50

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South Korea’s central bank chief on Thursday admitted annualized growth in 2019 could fall below 2.0 percent.

“The role of fourth quarter spending is critical to achieve 2.0 percent for full 2019,” Bank of Korea (BOK) Governor Lee Ju-yeol said in a New Year meeting with reporters on Thursday, asking them to put less hype on the 2.0 percent growth number to suggest the target may not be achievable.

Hong Nam-ki, deputy prime minister for economy, recently assured that the economy would meet at least 2.0 percent growth in 2019.

Lee was also reserved about this year. “Growth and prices will be better than last year, but a sharp recovery may not be easy,” he said. He assured accommodative monetary policy would be maintained. Still, the bank must be watchful of the negative effects from excessively low interest rates, he said.

By Song Min-geun and Lee Ha-yeon

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