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Conditions for rate cut emerging in South Korea, says presidential official

By Thomson Reuters Jun 16, 2024 | 3:39 AM

SEOUL (Reuters) – Stabilising prices are creating an environment to cut rates in South Korea, a senior presidential official said on Sunday.

“(South Korea) is one of the countries with the most stable price levels compared to other countries globally,” Sung Tae-yoon, policy chief for South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, told a public broadcaster KBS.

“Therefore, I believe an environment where rates can be lowered is being created,” Sung said.

South Korea’s consumer inflation slowed for a second straight month in May to a 10-month low, official data showed on Tuesday, coming in lower than market expectations.

The consumer price index (CPI) in May stood 2.7% higher than a year earlier, slower than a rise of 2.9% in April and a gain of 2.8% tipped in a Reuters survey of economists. It was the slowest annual increase since July.

“As exports continue to improve and prices, the criteria for monetary policy, stabilize, monetary policy will also be able to be dealt with flexibly,” Sung told the television.

South Korea’s exports rose for an eighth straight month in May, led by robust chip sales though overall growth in shipments lagged market expectations, trade data showed earlier.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park and Cynthia Kim; Editing by Miral Fahmy)