The Korea Herald


Korean economy to gain further momentum after election: BOK chief

By Jo He-rim

Published : May 6, 2017 - 11:25

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YOKOHAMA, Japan (Yonhap) -- The South Korean economy will gain further momentum after the presidential election set to take place early next week, central bank governor said Saturday, citing strong exports and improved consumer sentiment amid signs of recovery in global economies.

“In the past, domestic consumption tended to gather momentum on positive anticipation over the economy in the first year of the new administration, since the new government had pushed its drive for boost measures,” Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol told reporters during a press meeting held a day earlier in Japan.

Lee Ju-yeol (Yonhap) Lee Ju-yeol (Yonhap)

He has been attending the financial ministers and central bank chiefs summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and South Korea, China and Japan since Friday.

He noted that the local economy, Asia’s fourth-largest, may see an opportunity for mid-2 percent growth or higher, citing sound external conditions in the global economies.

“There has been a substantial change in the local economy over the past month. Jitters on a possible currency manipulator (designation by the US) have been alleviated, exports have turned out better and consumer sentiment is improving,” Lee said.

Citing the first-quarter growth of 0.9 percent, which beat the forecast, the governor said the pace of pickup is quickening.

The BOK raised the annual growth to 2.6 percent for this year in its latest forecast announced last month, revising up from 2.5 percent. South Korea’s economic growth has hovered below 3 percent for the last two years, with the figure for 2016 coming in at 2.8 percent.