SEOUL, March 20 (Reuters) - South Korea’s central bank board members were concerned about weaker-than-expected price pressure despite signs that Asia’s fourth-largest economy was improving, according to minutes from the bank’s last board meeting.
At least three of the board’s seven members expressed concerns about the weak inflation, further cementing a consensus view that the bank’s monetary tightening will be gradual after its last hike to 1.50 percent in November.
“It would be appropriate to maintain current policy interest rate until inflation trend, currently on downward path, can be reversed in support of economic recovery,” said a board member.
The Bank of Korea left its key interest rate unchanged at its Feb. 27 meeting, as expected, taking note of muted inflationary pressure and showing caution ahead of any further monetary tightening from the U.S Federal Reserve’s policy meeting on March 20-21. (Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Editing by Himani Sarkar)