May 25, 2017 / 3:05 AM / 4 months ago

HIGHLIGHTS-Bank of Korea Governor Lee's comments at news conference

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SEOUL, May 25 (Reuters) - South Korea’s central bank kept interest rates unchanged for an 11th straight month on Thursday, opting for stability in its first policy review since President Moon Jae-in’s inauguration.

Following are key remarks from Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol’s news conference, translated by Reuters:

RATE DECISION:

“Today’s interest rate decision was made unanimously.”

ECONOMY:

“Going forward, local economic growth is expected to be slightly above the path projected in April.”

“Household loan growth slowed of late but the magnitude of slowing is still small and the housing sales remain robust, requiring a further close watch on the trend for a while.”

“It is likely that we will upgrade this year’s economic growth forecast in July.”

“Given the robust exports, economic recovery and the government’s employment-oriented policy stance, wage growth is expected to fasten in the second half.”

MONETARY POLICY:

“I agree with the finance minister-nominee’s remarks that effects of fiscal policy on the economy will be bigger than those of monetary policy.”

“Fiscal policy is a better tool than monetary policy in terms of its direct impact on pursuing specific goals such as job creation.”

“My previous view is still that we will not make a decision automatically in response to the U.S. Fed’s policy moves.”

“Employment is an important factor for the monetary board to consider when reviewing policy.”

“The narrowing gap in long-term interest rates with the U.S. is a helping factor for maintaining an accommodative policy stance.”

“It will have little direct impact on our policy in the future whether the U.S. Fed raises rates in June or September.” (Reporting by Cynthia Kim and Choonsik Yoo)

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