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Bank of Korea keeps benchmark interest rate steady at 0.5% amid 4th wave of pandemic Updated: 2021-07-15 10:00:01 KST

South Korea's central bank has kept its benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record low of point-five percent.
The decision was made on Thursday during the central bank's monetary policy meeting.
The rate freeze comes as the bank aims to offset looming uncertainties from the fourth wave of the pandemic.
The Bank of Korea cut its key interest rate to a record-low point-five percent in May last year.
Since then, the rate has been left untouched for over a year.

Some analysts had expected policymakers to start raising interest rates by the second quarter of this year over rising property prices and household debt.
But the central bank believes it's too early to discuss a change in monetary policy as concerns are mounting over a possible slowdown in economic activity from a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

The central bank also kept South Korea's economic outlook for this year unchanged.
It projected a four percent growth in GDP for 2021, the same as the previous forecast made in May.
This follows strong exports and facility investment and improving employment figures.
When it comes to consumer price inflation, the central bank expects it to hover in the lower to mid-two percent range due to rising prices of petroleum products and agricultural, livestock, and fisheries goods.
Min Suk-hyen, Arirang News.
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