South Korea’s central bank likely to hike interest rate

Price pressures: Customers shop at a mall in Seoul. The government is seeking to accelerate a cut in fuel tax to help lower consumer prices. — Reuters

SEOUL: South Korea’s inflation breached 3% for the first time in almost a decade, fuelled by surging commodity prices and a low base-effect when compared with last year.

Consumer prices jumped 3.2% in October from a year earlier, the statistics office said yesterday, just shy of economists’ estimates for a 3.3% increase. That extended the run of gains above the central bank’s 2% target to a seventh straight month, building the case for another interest-rate hike by the Bank of Korea (BoK) at its Nov 25 meeting.

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