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S Korea’s incoming finance minister says economy losing momentum

SEOUL: South Korea's incoming finance minister has said the economy was losing momentum and that any improvement in jobs and income distribution among households would be difficult to achieve in the near future.

"Recently our economy's overall growth momentum appears to be weakening, although indicators are mixed between sluggish investment and employment and solid consumption and exports," Mr Hong Nam Ki said in written answers to questions from parliament's strategy and finance committee.

"It is difficult to expect any improvement over the near term in the environment surrounding living standards, such as employment and income distribution, because there are various factors including structural ones involved," Mr Hong said.

Reuters obtained a copy of Mr Hong's answers.

Mr Hong, who was appointed by the presidential office last month, is scheduled to appear before the committee on Dec 4.

The committee's approval of Mr Hong's nomination is not legally required, but his testimony could influence public opinion on his readiness for the post.

Mr Hong did not elaborate on how the government's economic policy would change under his leadership, but the finance ministry is due to unveil details of its 2019 policy goals later this month. - REUTERS

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