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S. Korea's finance chief expects economy to rebound next year Updated: 2019-10-19 12:14:16 KST

Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki says the South Korean economy will likely rebound in the first half of 2020.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting in Washington on Friday, Hong said the country's expansionary policies will drive growth.
The South Korean government has proposed a record budget of about 424 billion U.S. dollars for 2020, an over nine percent increase on-year.

"The 9.3 percent hike for next year's budget is a reflection of the government's commitment to take preemptive measures to support growth before any other developed countries."

His comments come amid concerns the country's growth rate could fall below two percent this year.
Recently, the IMF lowered its forecast for South Korea to 2-percent, down from its previous outlook of 2.6 percent.
South Korea needs to post at least 0.6 percent growth in the third and fourth quarter in order to maintain growth in the 2 percent range.
The minister noted that downside risks linger -- such as the ongoing trade dispute between Seoul and Tokyo.

"We need to resolve the dispute through talks before the end of the year in order to reduce uncertainties for local companies in 2020."

On other issues, the finance minister says it's unlikely South Korea will be removed from the U.S. currency watchlist in the near future.
Hong said he got the impression it would be difficult this year, citing his meeting with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin the previous day.
In May, the U.S. put South Korea on its list of countries it monitors for currency practices, but indicated Seoul could be removed if it continues to maintain only one of the three criteria for a currency manipulator before the next report is released.
The U.S. report is due to be released in the coming days.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.
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