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South Korea central bank chief: low growth may continue, policy to stay accommodative
January 3, 2017 / 5:07 AM / in a year

South Korea central bank chief: low growth may continue, policy to stay accommodative

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea’s central bank chief said on Tuesday monetary policy should remain accommodative as low growth could continue in the foreseeable future while financial market volatility may widen.

Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol speaks during a news conference at Seoul Foreign Correspondent's Club January 22, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/Files

“As low growth may continue for a considerable period of time, the Bank of Korea will support economic recovery by maintaining accommodative monetary policy,” Governor Lee Ju-yeol said in a New Year speech.

He stressed the importance of keeping financial markets and household debt stable, a sign the central bank could refrain from taking action and leave the benchmark rate unchanged at a record low of 1.25 percent at its policy meeting on Jan. 13.

In December, the central bank warned of the debt-service capacity falling for some households on a delayed economic recovery and rising interest rates. South Korea is bracing for higher loan rates as local bond yields track a rise in U.S. interest rates.

The central bank sees Asia’s fourth-largest economy expanding 2.8 percent this year after growing 2.7 percent in 2016.

Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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