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Finance minister, BOK chief to meet over economic conditions

All News 16:20 January 03, 2018

SEOUL, Jan. 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's chief economic policymaker will meet the head of the Bank of Korea this week to share views on a variety of issues, including a growth estimate for this year, the finance ministry said Wednesday.

Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon and Bank of Korea Gov. Lee Ju-yeol will hold a meeting on Thursday, their fourth round of such policy talks since Kim's inauguration in June last year.

They are expected to discuss economic matters as well as downside risks -- including still lingering uncertainty over North Korean provocations and household debt -- during their meeting.

Earlier, the finance ministry said Asia's fourth-largest economy is expected to grow by 3 percent this year, following last year's estimated 3.2 percent expansion, while vowing to implement economic policy aimed at boosting job creation and innovative growth, which will improve quality of life.

Backed by solid economic growth and a rise in income, South Korea's per capita gross domestic product (GDP) is widely forecast to surpass the landmark US$30,000 threshold in the coming months.

South Korea would become the third major country in the Asia-Pacific region to achieve the milestone, after Japan and Australia.

Household debt is another key challenge facing the Korean economy amid rising market interest rates.

South Korea's overall household debt came to a record 1,419.1 trillion won (US$1.33 trillion) at the end of September, although the pace of growth has slowed due to tighter lending regulations.

Last month, the central bank raised its policy rate to 1.5 percent from a record low of 1.25 percent for the first time in nearly six and a half years in a bid to tackle rising household debt.


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