Anchor: South Korea's central bank lowered its growth forecast for this year and next amid declining exports, investment and domestic spending. The bank also held its key rate steady to evaluate the impact of its recent cuts. Bank of Korea chief Lee Ju-yeol, meanwhile, projects that the economy will rebound in 2020.
Choi You Sun reports.

Report: The Bank of Korea(BOK) on Friday downgraded its growth projection for the domestic economy this year to two percent from two-point-two percent 

The latest estimate is the lowest since 2009, when the global financial crisis hit.

The outlook for next year was also lowered to two-point-three percent from two-point-five percent in July.

This is the fourth time the BOK has slashed its 2019 growth estimate from the two-point-seven percent forecast late last year. It reduced it to two-point-six percent in January, two-point-five percent in April and two-point-two percent in July.

At a press conference following a BOK Monetary Policy Board meeting, central bank Governor Lee Ju-yeol explained that exports and investment were more stagnant than previously expected, while domestic sales also slowed.

Cautiously stating that the economy appears to be bottoming out, Lee said he expects it to rebound from the latter half of next year as global uncertainties become less opaque and the tech industry situation improves.

The BOK projects private consumption to gradually recover in the second half of 2020 on the back of improving consumer sentiment.

The rate-setting policy board decided to keep its key rate steady at one-point-25 percent for the remainder of the year to see the impact of recent rate cuts, totaling point-five percent, in the midst of the U.S.-China trade conflict and slowdowns in exports and investment.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.

[Photo : YONHAP News]