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New S. Korean gov't to pursue 'good growth': official

All Headlines 22:38 July 11, 2017

SEOUL, July 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's new government will seek both growth and fairer wealth distribution under the main theme of "good growth," a presidential official said Tuesday, hinting it will also break from the country's longstanding preoccupation with numerical targets.

"The new government will pursue good growth," the official told reporters, declining to be named. "This means we will no longer follow the pattern of putting forward growth targets and pushing for growth-centric policies."

The central theme is expected to provide orientation for President Moon Jae-in's much-publicized "income-led" growth formula aimed at addressing income disparities and boosting growth by creating jobs and increasing household revenue, observers said.

"Good growth pursues both growth and distribution," the official said. "The thrust (of the Moon government's policy) is that we can address social issues with growth in the upper 2-percent range."

Seoul's finance ministry has estimated that Asia's fourth-largest economy would expand 2.6 percent in 2017, down 0.2 percentage point from the previous year's 2.8 percent, while many think tanks and global investment banks revised up their forecasts to around 2.8 percent, citing brisk exports led by recovering global demand.

The presidential official also pointed out that the government would not announce a specific target growth rate as the past governments did. For instance, the Lee Myung-bak administration pushed for the "747" scheme aimed at increasing annual growth to 7 percent, doubling the country's per capital income to US$40,000 and making the country the world's seventh-largest economy.

"If we set an excessive target and push for a growth policy (based on it), this could lead to a problem," the official said.

sshluck@yna.co.kr
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