President Lee Myung-bak on Saturday urged officials to maintain the balance in budget spending policies, warning against populist welfare policies ahead of next year's parliamentary and presidential elections.
"There are two main tasks of achieving sustainable growth and stabilizing consumer prices while maintaining fiscal soundness," Lee told officials at a meeting on fiscal strategy.
"I think that fiscal stability is the last bastion of the national economy," Lee said at the meeting.
Early this month, the Bank of Korea, the country's central bank, revised up its forecast for this year's consumer inflation on high oil and food prices, but the bank retained its economic growth forecast.
The central bank raised its inflation projection for this year to a three-year high of 3.9 percent from a previous estimate of 3.5 percent. However, it maintained its growth projection for this year at 4.5 percent.
South Korea's economy, Asia's fourth largest, grew 6.2 percent last year.