South Korea’s central bank left its key interest rate unchanged Thursday at a record low for a second straight month amid efforts to restore growth to the country’s slumping economy.
The Bank of Korea kept the benchmark seven-day repurchase rate at 2% at a regular monthly policy meeting.
South Korea’s export-driven economy has been battered by declines in global consumer demand that have caused plunges in exports and industrial output.
The central bank had slashed the benchmark rate six times from October 9 until last month’s meeting.
Asia’s fourth-largest economy shrank 3.4% in the fourth quarter of 2008 as manufacturing and exports crumpled.
The central bank’s rate-setting monetary policy committee said in a statement that the pace of the slowdown in the domestic economy “has moderated somewhat,” while stock prices and the exchange rate have “shown some signs of improvement.”