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BOK expects S. Korean economy to shrink 0.2% in 2020

Arirang News
Arirang News
한국은행 “올 성장률 -0.2% 전망"…기준금리 0.25%p 인하...연이율 0.5%로

We start at the Bank of Korea.
The central bank has slashed its growth forecast for the South Korean economy this year to sub-zero,... due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Interest rates also drop to a new record low.
For more, we have our Eum Ji-young on the line for us.
Ji-young, start by telling us more about the revised growth forecast.
Mark, the central bank has forecast the local economy to contract,... releasing its revised expected growth rate of negative 0-point-2 percent. This is down a whopping 2-point-3 percent from its previous forecast.
The revision,... announced on Thursday, significantly differs from its forecast of 2-point-1 percent back in February.
The only two previous times on record that actual GDP shrank were when Korea's GDP growth was negative 1-point-6 percent in 1980 and negative 5-point-1 percent in 1998.
The downgrade reflects contracted business activities both at home and abroad due to the pandemic.
The central bank's monetary policy board noted in a statement that because of the effect of COVID-19, consumption has contracted, exports have slowed and unemployment has risen, particularly in the service sector.
But the central bank kept its economic growth forecast for 2021 at 3-point-1 percent.
Slightly earlier than its growth forecast, the Bank of Korea also announced it was slashing its key interest rate to a record low.
Right Mark. Reflecting the grim outlook of the country's economy this year, the Bank of Korea cut its key interest rate to a historic low of point-5 percent,... down 25 basis points.
The Bank of Korea slashed its benchmark rate to point-75 percent in March but kept it unchanged for April as the central bank opted to monitor the impact of measures already imposed. That's all I have for now, but I'll bring more updates in a later newscast. Back to you Mark.
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