S Korea Government: To Continue Efforts To Vitalize Economy, Keep Prices Stable
First Published Tuesday, 8th May 2012 01:37 am - © 2012 Dow Jones
SEOUL -(Dow Jones)- South Korea's government Tuesday pledged to continue working to vitalize the local economy and maintain price stability, indicating it won't drop price stability from its policy priorities despite a recent slowdown in inflation and rising risk toward meeting its 3.7% 2012 economic growth projection.
"Improvement in employment is continuing, while inflation has somewhat eased, but data show real economic conditions are lagging," the Ministry of Strategy and Finance said in its monthly greenbook summing up recent economic conditions. The statement comes two days before the Bank of Korea's next monetary policy board meeting.
There is lingering risk from global oil prices and increasing unrest stemming from the euro zone's sovereign debt problems--particularly since cuts in Spain's credit ratings--so the government will closely monitor onshore and offshore conditions and "aim to vitalize the economy and keep prices stable."
The government also said credit card usage likely increased 18.3% in April from the same month a year earlier, following a 14.5% gain in the preceding month, whereas department store sales likely contracted 3.8% after rising 1.8% in March.
"Going forward, retail spending will likely improve steadily, but we also see possibilities for economic uncertainties to limit such spending," it said.
The current account balance is likely to remain in the black in April due to a sizeable trade surplus, following a $3.04 billion surplus in March, while industrial production is likely to steadily improve though be affected somewhat by weaker exports, it said.