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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This 2015 Article IV Consultation highlights that Korea’s growth momentum that had been building since early 2013 has stalled. Average quarterly growth rate declined to about 0.5 percent in the last three quarters of 2014 from about 1 percent in the previous four quarters. A turning point was the April 2014 Sewol ferry accident, which had a surprisingly large and persistent impact on consumer and investor sentiment. Growth is projected to be in a range centered about 3 percent in 2015. The main external risks include slower-than-expected growth in Korea’s main trading partners, the impact of a persistently weak yen on Korean export industries, and side-effects from the global financial conditions.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Growth has been strong in recent years and some moderation is expected, with risks skewed to the downside. High fishing revenues improved the fiscal position, but generated pressure to increase spending. There has been progress on fiscal and structural reforms. Yet, public spending needs are large, driven by an infrastructure gap and climate adaptation costs, and the country remains at high risk of debt distress.
Mr. Thierry Tressel and Ms. Yuanyan S Zhang
The crisis has highlighted the importance of setting up macro-prudential oversight frameworks, having effective macro-prudential instruments in place to be called upon to mitigate growing financial imbalances as needed. We develop a new approach using the euro area Bank Lending Survey to assess the effectiveness of macro-prudential policies in containing credit growth and house price appreciation in mortgage markets. We find instruments targeting the cost of bank capital most effective in slowing down mortgage credit growth, and that the impact is transmitted mainly through price margins, the same banking channel as monetary policy. Limits on loan-to-value ratios are also effective, especially when monetary policy is excessively loose.