S. Korea central bank lowers 2019 growth outlook to 2.5 percent

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-18 11:35:57|Editor: Shi Yinglun
Video PlayerClose

SEOUL, April 18 (Xinhua) -- South Korean central bank on Thursday lowered its growth forecast for the economy in 2019 by 0.1 percentage point to 2.5 percent.

Bank of Korea (BOK) Governor Lee Ju-yeol told a press conference that the bank's growth outlook was cut to 2.5 percent from 2.6 percent estimated three months earlier.

Outlook for this year's consumer price inflation was revised down from 1.4 percent to 1.1 percent.

The downward revisions came after the BOK decided to keep the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 1.75 percent.

Lee forecast that the economy's growth momentum would be restored on an expanded fiscal expenditure and the moderate pace of export and investment slowdown, though the growth forecast was lowered this month.

The BOK's revised growth forecast was lower than the South Korean government's growth target of 2.6 percent to 2.7 percent this year. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) set its growth outlook at 2.6 percent.

The finance ministry planned to submit an extra budget plan of less than 7 trillion won (6.2 billion U.S. dollars) later this month to the National Assembly, in a bid to help bolster the lackluster economy.

The country's export kept falling since December last year due mainly to lower price for semiconductor, which had led the overall export expansion in the past, and the global economic slump.

Meanwhile, the BOK governor told the press conference that it had a very low possibility for the country to fall into deflation despite the bank's downward revision of headline inflation.

Consumer price rose 0.5 percent in the January-March quarter from a year earlier, posting the lowest quarterly gain since the statistical office began compiling the data in 1965.

In March alone, the consumer price added 0.4 percent from a year earlier. It was the lowest headline inflation in 32 months.