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South Korea holds steady on interest rates, accelerating economic recovery

SEOUL -- South Korea's central bank on Friday kept interest rates unchanged for the 12th consecutive month, as Asia's fourth-largest economy shows signs of recovery at home and abroad.

The Bank of Korea (BOK) kept its benchmark interest rate steady at 2.5 percent for May at its monthly monetary meeting.

South Korea's export-led economy is forecast to accelerate as demand in industrialised nations recovers.

In April, the BOK revised its growth outlook this year to 4.0 percent, up from its January projection of 3.8 percent, while lifting next year's estimate to 4.2 percent from 4.0 percent.

The economy grew 3.0 percent last year.

Consumer inflation hit an eight-month high of 1.5 percent in April, still well below the central bank's target band of 2.5 to 3.5 percent.

The Bank of Korea has not touched the key rate since an unexpected 25 point cut in May last year.

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