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Bank of Korea Likely to Hike Rates Again Over High Inflation, Household Debt: Reuters Poll

BENGALURU—The Bank of Korea is likely to raise its policy rate back to where it was before the pandemic on Friday, a Reuters poll found, as it looks to restrain rising inflation and the increasing debt that households are taking on to buy property. Twenty-five of 35 economists who answered a Jan. 5–11 Reuters poll said the BOK would raise its base rate by 25 basis points to 1.25 percent at its Jan. 14 policy meeting. This was its level in February 2020, just before the coronavirus crisis broke out. South Korea’s central bank was the first and only one among its main Asian peers to raise interest rates twice last year, most recently by 25 basis points at its last meeting, in November. The BOK has not raised rates at back-to-back meetings for over a decade. “Although economic uncertainties at home and abroad are increasing, Governor Lee Ju-yeol reaffirmed …

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