South Korea inflation rate slows in March

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : April 1, 2016, 16:37 | Updated : April 1, 2016, 16:37

[Aju News DB on a department store in Busan]

South Korea's inflation rate rose one percent on the year in March, down from the previous month's 1.3 percent gain, Statistics Korea said Friday.

The March reading was far below the Bank of Korea's annual inflation target of two percent for three years starting 2016.

The central bank holds a monetary policy meeting on April 19, and the latest inflation figures are expected to strengthen the voice of proponents of a rate cut.

The central bank again kept interest rates on hold last month at a record low 1.5 percent, but analysts say it is likely to cut rates in April or sometime later in the year.

On Monday, it announced new candidates to replace four of its seven monetary policy board members, signaling a greater say by the government in future monetary policy.

The nominees will replace four central bank policy makers who retire after their four-year terms on April 20.

The government in the past typically preferred easier monetary policy, especially when it was in a fiscal expansion to spur anemic growth while the central bank usually hesitated to comply for fear of stoking inflation.

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