US rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S & P) has revised its forecast for this year’s economic growth rate in South Korea from 3.6% three months ago to 4.0% on the 7th. On the other hand, next year’s forecast has been revised downward from 3.1% to 2.8%. According to Yonhap News Agency, S & P’s Chief Economist for Asia-Pacific, Sean Roach, said at an online press conference that day, “I have been optimistic about South Korea’s economic recovery outlook.” “Exports continue to be strong and investment is improving, but household consumption is weak,” Roach said. “In order to continue the economic recovery, household consumption must recover.” Regarding the policy interest rate, he said, “There will be a rise in the policy interest rate at the end of the year or next year, and we expect it to be 1.25% until the end of next year.” The current policy interest rate is 0.5%, and the Bank of Korea has announced a rate hike within the year. Inflation is “below 2% this year and expected to be 1.5% next year,” he said. Inflation risk is temporary in Asia such as South Korea and will disappear next year. S & P gives 67% of the Korean companies currently evaluated “stable”, 25% “negative” and 8% “positive”. “Negative” fell sharply from last year’s peak of 35%. “Positive” rose from below 5%. S & P has raised the rating outlook for SK Hynix and LG Electronics to “positive”, reflecting the recent improvement in business conditions.