Juyeol Lee: New Year Speech

New Year's address by Mr Juyeol Lee, Governor of the Bank of Korea, at the Bank of Korea, Seoul, 2 January 2019.

Central bank speech  | 
29 January 2019

Dear fellow members of the Bank of Korea!

Today we start our first tasks of 2019, filled with new hope and resolve. I would like to begin by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to all of you, for so faithfully carrying out your duties throughout the last year.

The Korean economy went through some difficult times last year, due to the heightening of uncertainties at home and abroad. Volatility in the international financial markets increased frequently, in line with the worsening of the global trade environment and with the financial instabilities suffered by some EMEs amid the series of policy rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve. Thanks to our strong international credit standing we were fortunate enough to maintain stability in Korean markets overall, but we still had to remain vigilant. Looking at the real economy, the rate of growth did not deviate far from its potential level, but employment remained sluggish and economic agents' sentiments weakened. The growth in household debt continued to outpace that in household income, leading to concerns that this could undermine financial stability.