South Korea's consumer prices will likely rise 4.3 percent this year due to high food costs and public service charges, despite the government's anti-inflation efforts, a private think tank said Thursday.
The Hyundai Research Institute (HRI) said the inflation forecast represents a 0.3 percentage point gain from its prediction released in June. It is higher than the government's consumer price control target of 4 percent.
The HRI, in addition, said growing global and domestic economic uncertainties could cause South Korea's gross domestic product (GDP) to move up 4.2 percent this year, down from a gain of 4.3 percent predicted earlier in the year.
"The country has been able to maintain its growth momentum and its current account surplus in the face of economic woes triggered by problems in advanced industrialized countries, but it is starting to feel effects of the sluggish global economy," the institute said.
The revised growth prediction is the same as the number released by the Bank of Korea, although lower than the 4.5 percent gain predicted by the finance ministry.
The HRI added that due to inflationary pressure and sluggish unemployment conditions. economic growth of Asia's fourth largest economy may stand at around 4.0 percent in 2012.
The think tank, meanwhile, predicted South Korea's private sector consumption growth will hover at 3.3 percent this year, with unemployment to reach 3.5 percent.
It said the Korean won-U.S. dollar exchange rate, which affects trade and consumer prices, should reach an average of 1,085 won to the greenback this year.