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BOK to continue monetary easing

January 11, 2010 | "The Korea Herald"

The Bank of Korea will continue monetary easing to help economic recovery, the central bank said yesterday.

"The base rate will be managed for the time being in such a way as to help sustain the trend of recovery of economic activity," the BOK said in its monetary policy management plan for 2010.

"The degree of (monetary) accommodativeness will be aggressively moderated, taking into consideration overall financial and economic conditions at home and abroad," it added.

The statement came a day before BOK Governor Lee Seong-tae and his fellow board members set the monthly target for the benchmark interest rate.

The BOK has kept the seven-day repurchase agreement rate steady at 2 percent, the lowest level on record, since February last year.

In its most aggressive monetary easing, the central bank had slashed the rate by a total of 3.25 percentage points in several cuts between October in 2008 and February in 2009.

At today's meeting, the monetary policymakers are widely expected to leave it untouched for another month. Ten experts out of 10 surveyed by Yonhap Informax predicted a freeze.

Aided by record-low interest, aggressive fiscal spending and other stimulus measures, the Korean economy is fast recovering from a global recession.

Asia's fourth-largest economy will grow 4.6 percent this year, the BOK said. The Finance Ministry predicted 5 percent expansion.

"Growth momentum is expected to accelerate in 2010, amid continued price stability but a smaller current account surplus," the BOK said.

Still, a high degree of uncertainty surrounds the economy's path this year, and policymakers need to make sure that the recovery is led by the private sector, it said.

"The strengthening of private sector growth momentum will be underpinned by maintaining the stance of financial laxity," the BOK said.

In his New Year's message, Lee also said that the bank plans to manage the rate policy in a way that will help boost the economic recovery for the time being, but added that it will adjust it at an appropriate speed and by a proper margin, while taking into consideration the financial and economic situation.

Experts forecast the key interest rate will be raised as early as February.

"Greater attention will be given as time goes by to the possibility of the Korean economy experiencing imbalances arising from the continuance for a prolonged period of the policy of monetary accommodativeness," the BOK said.

Società: Korea

Nome completo della societàThe Republic of Korea
Paese di registrazioneKorea


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