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  • BOK Keeps Key Rate At Record Low 0.5% Amid COVID-19 Uncertainties

Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol hits the gavel ahead of the monetary policy board's final rate-setting meeting of the year on Nov. 26, 2020. (Photo: Yonhap News)
Bank of Korea Governor Lee Ju-yeol hits the gavel ahead of the monetary policy board's final rate-setting meeting of the year on Nov. 26, 2020. (Photo: Yonhap News)
The Bank of Korea has decided to keep its policy rate unchanged at a record low of 0.5 percent, amid growing concerns over a winter wave of coronavirus infections.

The widely expected move came Thursday during the monetary policy board's final rate-setting meeting of the year.

The central bank revised up this its economic growth outlook for 2020 to a 1.1 percent contraction, compared with its previous forecast of a 1.3 percent retreat.

In a statement, the BOK said, "The Korean economy has continued to recover at a modest pace. Although the recovery in private consumption has been slow and the correction in construction investment has continued, facilities investment has started to recover and the improvement in exports has continued."

For next year, the bank said it expects Asia's fourth-largest economy to grow 3 percent, faster than a previous forecast of 2.8 percent expansion.

The BOK added that global economic growth and financial markets will likely be affected largely by the severity of the resurgence of COVID-19 and the status of vaccine development, as well as by national policy responses and their effects.

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