Inflation likely to remain high in 5-6 pct range for considerable time: BOK official

SEOUL, Oct. 5 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s inflation is expected to remain high in the 5-6 percent range for a considerable time, a ranking central bank official said Wednesday, citing upward rises in the energy and currency markets.

Consumer prices, a key gauge of inflation, rose 5.6 percent last month from a year earlier, slowing from a 5.7 percent rise in August, according to the data from Statistics Korea.

In July, consumer prices increased at the fastest pace in almost 24 years at 6.3 percent. Compared with a month earlier, September’s consumer prices have gone up 0.3 percent, the data showed.

“In September, consumer prices edged down from a month ago, but the core prices continued to rise, led by costs for individuals, such as eating out,” said Bank of Korea (BOK) Deputy Gov. Lee Hwan-seok during the bank’s inflation monitoring meeting in Seoul.

He said upward pressure on prices is likely to remain high for the foreseeable future.

“Circumstances in the Russia-Ukraine war and the monetary policy tightening moves in major economies have raised uncertainties in the energy market. Potential risks also abound with strong (dollar-to—Korean won) currency exchange rates, in addition to the possible cutback of the oil supply by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Plus,” he added.

The local currency market has dropped to the 1,440 won level, an over 13-year low against the U.S. dollar.

Source: Yonhap News Agency