May 9, 2018 / 6:06 AM / 10 months ago

S.Korea's current benchmark policy rate not tight board member

SEOUL, May 9 (Reuters) - A board member of South Korea’s central bank said on Wednesday that its current policy interest rate of 1.50 percent was not tight and expressed concern about weak consumer inflation.

“Current monetary policy is no way tight, and it probably is accommodative,” Bank of Korea board member Cho Dong-chul told reporters at a news conference in Seoul.

“And it is true that inflation is weak,” Cho said.

The Bank of Korea left its key interest rate unchanged at its April meeting, as expected, taking note of muted inflationary pressure and showing caution amid tense trade relations between the United States and China.

South Korean benchmark inflation has held below the BOK’s 2 percent target since October, creating a hurdle to any monetary policy tightening this year after its last hike, in November, to 1.50 percent.

The BOK’s next policy meeting is May 24. (Reporting by Cynthia Kim; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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