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Downside risk factors to dominate S Korean economy: BOK


10:58, March 08, 2012

SEOUL, March 8 (Xinhua) -- The South Koran economy would be dominated by downside risk factors rather than upside factors due to the economic slowdown in the eurozone, the central bank said Thursday.

"The South Korean economy is expected to maintain a moderate trend of growth for the time being, influenced by external conditions including the global economic slowdown. In terms of the upside and downside risks to its future growth path, the downside predominate," the Bank of Korea (BOK) said in a statement unveiled after the March monetary policy meeting.

The central bank said in a separate statement that the country' s economic growth has not slowed further, citing an expansion in exports, consumption and facilities investment. But, the bank noted that external risk factors such as the sovereign debt problems in Europe and geopolitical risks in the Middle East still existed, saying that growth in emerging economies has continued to show signs of weakening due to slowing exports.

The BOK left its 7-day report rate steady at 3.25 percent for nine straight months due to conflicting factors such as lingering downside risks to the economy and the possible acceleration in inflationary pressures amid higher oil prices.

Touching on inflation, the BOK said that declines in livestock product prices pulled down the February consumer price growth to 3. 1 percent despite a rise in petroleum product prices, but the bank noted that potentially destabilizing factors remained, including the ongoing high inflation expectations and the geopolitical risks in the Middle East.

The BOK promised to conduct its monetary policy to stabilize consumer price inflation at the midpoint of the inflation target over the mid-term horizon, while maintaining sound growth of the economy.


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