SEOUL, April 12 (Korea Bizwire) — The central bank said Thursday that the South Korean economy is expected to grow 3 percent this year despite rising uncertainties at home and abroad.
The Bank of Korea (BOK) maintained its earlier growth forecast made in January, when it adjusted up the growth rate 0.1 percentage point from 2.9 percent, while it also keep its 2019 prediction unchanged at 2.9 percent.
But it revised down its inflation outlook to 1.6 percent due to a slowdown in oil prices, with consumer prices expected to rise 2 percent next year.
“Since we announced our prediction in January, we’ve checked internal and external economic conditions,” BOK Gov. Lee Ju-yeol said at a press conference. “As a result, the growth rate will be 3 percent for this year, the same as the January forecast, and consumer prices will be lowered to 1.6 percent.”
The BOK’s growth estimate for 2018 is on par with those of the South Korean government and other international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund.
The central bank anticipated private consumption will expand 2.7 percent and facility investment will gain 2.9 percent to support growth this year, while construction investment is likely to backtrack 0.2 percent.
The current account surplus will likely reach US$70.5 billion this year, with a trade surplus of $115 billion and a service deficit of $34 billion.