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HIGHLIGHTS-Bank of Korea Governor Lee's comments at news conference
January 13, 2017 / 3:15 AM / 10 months ago

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

(Adds more comments from BOK Governor Lee)

SEOUL, Jan 13 (Reuters) - South Korea’s central bank kept interest rates unchanged for a seventh straight month on Friday, in line with expectations, as it braces for policy developments out of the United States under the presidency of Donald Trump.

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

RATE DECISION: “Its not right to automatically adjust benchmark interest rate just to follow the number of (interest rate) increases (in the U.S.)”

ECONOMY: “We revised down domestic growth outlook for this year by 0.3 percentage point to 2.5 percent, from 2.8 percent.”

“Our foreign exchange reserves are not insufficient.”

“The U.S. dollar is expected to broadly strengthen for a while as the new administration is expected to announce pro-growth policies.”

“We revised down (the growth forecast) and if we look at major categories, there were big adjustments in private consumption.”

“The downturn in consumer sentiment was reflected in our outlook revision, and there is no change in stance that boosting consumption is an important issue in economic policymaking.”

“Given uncertainties are high at home and abroad, corporate sentiment has been sluggish. If corporate sentiment continues to be dampened for a prolonged period of time it will affect growth through investment and jobs.”

“I don’t think the housing market is in a bubble.”

“While (home price increases) are slowing compared with better days before, I don’t expect there to be some drastic adjustments.”

INFLATION: “We see inflation at 1.8 percent this year.”

“Inflationary pressure to boost demand-side inflation isn’t that strong.”

Reporting by Cynthia Kim and Christine Kim

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