SEOUL Cheap New Balance 574 , Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's central bank on Thursday decided to freeze its benchmark interest rate at a record low, keeping a wait-and-see stance for four straight months as the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to raise its policy rate within a couple of months.
Bank of Governor (BOK) Lee Ju-yeol and six other monetary policy board members agreed to keep the seven-day repurchase rate on hold at an all-time low of 1.5 percent. They cut it by a quarter percentage point in March and June respectively.
Despite concerns about lackluster economic data at home and economic slowdown abroad, experts predicted the rate freeze by the BOK ahead of the expected rate hike in the United States.
According to a Korea Financial Investment Association survey of 113 fixed-income analysts, 85 percent expected a BOK rate freeze this month. The remaining 15 percent projected a rate cut on worries over the economic slump at home and abroad.
Exports New Balance 574 Sale , which account for around half of the economy, continued to decline for nine months through September when the outbound shipments tumbled 8.3 percent compared with a year earlier.
Amid the slowing exports, production in the mining and manufacturing sectors inched up 0.3 percent in August from a year earlier. Manufacturers posted an average factory utilization rate of 74.3 percent in August, lower than an average of 76.1 percent tallied in 2014.
Further rate cuts can weaken the South Korean currency to the U.S. dollar New Balance 574 Shoes , fuelling price competitiveness of South Korean exporters and increasing corporate earnings overseas when repatriated.
However, the BOK refrained from altering the rate as the U.S. Fed is widely expected to hike rates in early 2016 at the latest. The contrast in monetary policies between Seoul and Washington could trigger foreign capital exodus from the South Korean financial market.
Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said the Fed's first rate increase this year would be ""an expectation, not a commitment."" His comments boosted expectations for the delayed monetary tightening, but widespread forecast remained for the rate hike within a couple of months. Governor Lee sought to relieve such market expectations for further rate cuts in South Korea New Balance 574 Sport , saying last Monday during the parliamentary audit that the economy's third-quarter growth was in line with the economic forecast of the BOK.
Asked about possibilities for the BOK to cut rates further amid the expected delay in the U.S. rate hike, Governor Lee said he had a different idea from such expectations, showing his hawkish stance on monetary policy.
A surge in household debts prevented the BOK from considering further rate cuts. Debts owed by households to deposit takers jumped 9.8 trillion won (8.5 billion U.S. dollars) in August from a month earlier, the second biggest monthly increase. The largest increase was 10.1 trillion won tallied in April New Balance 574 Retro , one month after the BOK rate cut.
Private consumption also showed signs of recovery. retail sales, which reflect consumer spending, increased 1.8 percent in August from a year earlier after growing 2.1 percent the previous month.
Consumer sentiment index, which measures the outlook among consumers over economic conditions New Balance 574 Mens , inched up 1 point from a month earlier to 103 in September. The reading above 100 means optimists surpassed pessimist.
Sales in department stores soared 14.1 percent in September from a year earlier, after rising 1.2 percent in August. Discount outlets revenue expanded 10 percent last month after falling 4.8 percent the previous month.
Domestic car sales advanced 15.5 percent in September on a yearly basis, and credit card usage picked up 14.8 percent last month. Gasoline and diesel sales gained 6.2 percent last month.
By Oliver Trust
BERLIN, Sept. 29 (Xinhua) -- German World Cup winning coach Joachim Loew will keep a close eye on VfL Wolfsburg in Wednesday's Champions League group match against Manchester United.
Not because the 55-year-old is expecting a sensational win for the underdogs but because he is worried about several of his candidates for the German national team.
Andre Schuerrle New Balance 574 Womens , Max Kruse and Julian Draxler could well play a vital part in their country's upcoming Euro 2016 qualifying games against Ireland (October 8 in Dublin) and Georgia (October 11 in Leipzig) - but the trio are currently out of form.
Despite the major crisis of Wolfsburg's owner, the car giant Volkswagen, is facing due to false exhaust emissions and as a result possible cuts in future sponsorship, the club seems to be coming to a turning point on the pitch too.
The northern Germans originally planned to build up a sort of ""VfL Germany"" New Balance 574 , meaning, to develop German talents. However the strategy has not yet paid off. In the middle of the crisis stands the man who was responsible for the World Cup winning assist in the 2014 World Cup final against Argentina. Everyone remembers the 24-year-old Andre Schuerrle crossing for his teammate Mario Goetze (Bayern Munich) to hit the back of the net in Germany's 1-0 win over the South Americans.
For now that moment of glory is nothing more than a sweet memory. Schuerrle is currently is no more than a shadow of bygone days and this after Wolfsburg paid Chelsea 32 million euros for a man hopeful of continuing his brilliant career in the national team at his new club as well.
So far the skilful and quick winger was more a disappointment than a winning factor. His record is rather poor so far: 19 games for Wolfsburg (one goal and three assists). Currently Schuerrle is alternating between the bench and the pitch and teammates are questioning whether he should be in the starting eleven.
When 2015 German Cup winner and 20142015 league runner-up Wolfsburg starts its adventure in the ""Theater of Dreams"", Schuerrle might again be substitute. It wouldn't be a posit
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