Bank of Korea(BOK) Governor Rhee Chang-yong on Thursday hinted at the possibility of raising the benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point next month.
Rhee alluded to the move after an emergency meeting on macroeconomic policies, when reporters asked whether the bank is still considering raising the key interest rate by a quarter percentage point.
The BOK chief said the central bank’s previous outlook drastically changed following the U.S. Federal Reserve's so-called “Big Step” that pushed benchmark rates higher by 75 basis points on Wednesday to between three to three-point-25 percent.
Rhee said the bank had hoped that the Fed would raise the interest no higher than four percent by the end of this year, but economists and U.S. officials now believe it will cross that threshold.
The Fed's target policy rate is now at its highest level since 2008 – and new projections show it rising to between four-point-25 and four-point-five percent by the end of this year and ending 2023 at four-point-five to four-point-75 percent range.
He said the bank will decide on its rate adjustment after thoroughly reviewing how such changes may affect economic growth and the foreign exchange market.
The bank is set to hold a meeting of its monetary policy committee in two to three weeks.