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South Korea defying global economic doom and gloom

If any major monetary power is telling the global economy where things are headed in 2022, it’s the Bank of Korea (BOK).

On January 14, the central bank of Asia’s fourth-biggest economy is widely expected to hike interest rates. It’s likely to be a modest tightening – a 25 basis-point boost to 1.25%. But assuming it happens as expected, it will be the third hike since August.

The two messages BOK Governor Lee Ju-yeol is sending are important.

The first is confidence that the 4% growth rate that many expect for South Korea this year is solid enough to withstand a few taps on the monetary brakes. The second is that the global economy is set for a stronger 2022 than many investors think.