Bank of Korea

January 18, 2018

South Korea’s central bank interest rate had been at 1.25% from June 2016 until late November of 2017 following five 25-basis point cuts in the space of 2-1/4 years. At the end of November, monetary authorities enacted their first increase since 2011, raising the rate by 25 bps to 1.5%. In doing so, the Bank of Korea became the first major Asian to follow America’s tightening cue. At the first policy review of 2018, the rate, which officials consider accommodative, was left at 1.5%, and forward guidance was summarized as follows:

The Board will conduct monetary policy so as to ensure that the recovery of economic growth continues and consumer price inflation can be stabilized at the target level over a medium-term horizon, while paying attention to financial stability. As it is forecast that inflationary pressures on the demand side will not be high for the time being, while the domestic economy is expected to continue its solid growth, the Board will maintain its accommodative monetary policy stance. In this process it will judge carefully whether it is necessary to adjust its accommodative monetary policy stance further, while closely checking future economic growth and inflation trends. It will also carefully monitor any changes in the monetary policies of major countries, conditions related to trade with major countries, the trend of increase in household debt, and geopolitical risks.

Copyright 2018, Larry Greenberg. All rights reserved. No secondary distribution without express permission.

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