It was time to stop and watch until the uncertainties were resolved, Bank of Korea Governor Rhee Chang-yong told reporters after the central bank left its policy interest rate unchanged at 3.50%.
Rhee would not rule out the possibility of further increases but repeatedly said no more upward moves would be needed if the annual inflation rate eased towards a forecast 3% by the end of the year.
Consumer prices in February were 5.2% higher than a year earlier, compared with a peak annual rate of 6.3% seen in July.
“When you are at the wheel and your vision is blocked by thick fog, you stop and wait for the fog to clear,” Rhee said. “That is the situation facing us, so it’s time to stop and wait.”
The central bank’s decision on the policy rate was line with a unanimous expectation by the 42 economists in a Reuters poll.
Share prices rose following the announcement, also helped higher by a rebound in U.S. stock index futures. The won was…