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South Korea's president prioritises tackling inflation, rising household debt

South Korea's president prioritises tackling inflation, rising household debt

FILE PHOTO: South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks on the occasion of the third anniversary of his inauguration at the presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, May 10, 2020. Kim Min-Hee/Pool via REUTERS

SEOUL: South Korea's economic policies should focus on stabilising consumer inflation and managing household debt as higher interest rates have made repayments more onerous, President Moon Jae-said on Tuesday (Jan 8), with just a few months left in office.

Presiding a cabinet meeting, Moon said consumer price pressures are building which could hurt household finances at a time when interest payments for households are also higher following the Bank of Korea's back-to-back policy rate hikes.

"Our utmost priority should be on stabilizing prices for staple goods for our citizens, and I ask for timely deployment of various policies to stabilise prices," Moon said.

South Korea's consumer inflation hovered near a decade high in January and remained above the central bank's 2 per cent target for a 10th straight month, as surging food and energy prices pushed prices higher.

A presidential election is set for Mar 9, and Moon will leave office on May 9, having served the single term permitted under South Korea's constitution.

Source: Reuters/gs

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