Finance Minister watches prices

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Finance Minister watches prices

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Finance Minister Bahk Jae-wan checks the price of watermelons at Hanaro Mart in Yangjae, southern Seoul, yesterday, as the government continues to clamp down on inflation. [YONHAP]


Korea’s finance minister said yesterday that keeping prices down at a time of global economic uncertainty was his priority.

“Amid growing external uncertainties, taming inflation is crucial to maintaining the current economic recovery,” said Minister of Strategy and Finance Bahk Jae-wan at an anti-inflation meeting held at Hanaro Mart in Yangjae, southern Seoul, yesterday.

Bahk mentioned expected rises in intentional oil prices and grain prices.

“International oil prices are likely to start soaring again when sanctions are imposed on Iran in July, which will fuel inflation further,” he said.

“The ministry will put its top priority on keeping the economic recovery pace and stabilizing prices by conducting close monitoring,” Bahk said.

Stabilizing prices is key to increasing domestic demand and easing household debts, Bahk added.

The minister visited the Nonghyup-run market in order to check out supply and demand trends of agricultural and cattle products.

He also listened to merchants’ difficulties.

Bahk pledged to hold anti-inflation meetings at actual marketplaces in a bid to devise more practical policy measures.

As for the European financial uncertainties, the minister called for collaboration of the leaders of the 17 EU member countries. “Growth and stability are like two sides of the same coin at the moment,” he said.

By Song Su-hyun[ssh@joongang.co.kr]

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