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South Korea leaves interest rate at record low

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South Korea's central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low of 1.75 per cent on Friday, following signs of a growth in the first quarter.

[SEOUL] South Korea's central bank left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low of 1.75 per cent on Friday, following signs of a growth in the first quarter.

The Bank of Korea has carried out three rate cuts since the second half of last year - in August, October and March - in a bid to shore up growth in Asia's fourth-largest economy.

The decision to freeze the rate in May had been widely expected, although some analysts have suggested the bank may consider a further cut to 1.5 per cent if growth falters.

The economy grew 0.8 per cent in January-March from the previous three months, according to central bank data.

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But exports, which remain the country's key economic driver have declined for the past four months, including a worrying 8.1 per cent on-year drop in April.

The central bank has already cut its 2015 growth forecast twice this year, from 3.9 per cent to 3.4 per cent in January and again in April, to 3.1 per cent.

AFP

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