BOK Frets Over Uneven Recovery as South Korea Waits for Vaccine

South Korea’s central bank meets this week with Governor Lee Ju-yeol flagging the fragility of an economic recovery threatened by the resurgence of the virus, Bloomberg News reported. With the country facing a possible slowdown in demand at home and abroad, the Bank of Korea is expected to maintain its support for the economy on Friday by keeping interest rates at a record low and showing a readiness to help stabilize markets if necessary. In a series of speeches marking the start of 2021, Governor Lee said that the economy is surrounded with uncertainties and said a K-shaped recovery could leave the vulnerable groups excluded from any rebound. Korea’s outlook for this year hinges on whether it can contain the latest Covid outbreak without resorting to more drastic measures, and the timing of the arrival of vaccines. Unlike some other countries that have already started inoculating some segments of the population, Korea is still waiting to get its supply of vaccines, another factor that makes its recovery precarious. prospect of losing momentum in the first months of 2021, the government has announced a front loading of its record budget in the first half of the year. It will also deliver a third cash handout to millions of Koreans before the Lunar New Year holiday next month. Read more.