New finance minister vows efforts to stabilize inflation

SEOUL-- Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said Wednesday the new government will place policy priority on stabilizing inflation and beefing up risk management amid heightened economic uncertainty.

The finance ministry launched an emergency economic response task force in a bid to better monitor macroeconomic conditions and the financial markets.

"Global economic uncertainty has heightened, led by the Ukraine crisis and major economies' monetary tightening, and ordinary people are facing difficulties amid rising inflation," Choo said at his inauguration ceremony in Sejong, an administrative hub 130 km southeast of Seoul.

South Korea's consumer prices grew at the fastest clip in more than 13 years in April due to surging fuel prices and a rebound in demand from the pandemic. Inflation spiked 4.8 percent on-year in April, accelerating from a 4.1 percent gain in March.

Concerns about stagflation, a mix of slumping economic growth and high inflation, have arisen as runaway inflation is feared to erode private spending, hurting economic growth.

Choo also said the government plans to ease regulations to help the private sector spur investment and create jobs.

"The government plans to encourage the private sector, the market and companies to revive the vitality of the Korean economy so as to help it emerge from a low growth trap," he added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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