South Korea's central bank froze the key interest rate on Thursday in a bid to gauge the impact of its surprise rate cut in July on the local economy amid the protracted eurozone debt crisis. As widely expected, Bank of Korea (BOK) Gov. Kim Choong-soo and his fellow policymakers held the benchmark 7-day repo rate steady at 3% for August. The move followed the BOK's quarter-percentage point rate reduction in July, the first cut in more than three years, according to South Korea's (Yonhap) News Agency. Analysts said the slowing growth and easing inflationary pressure are likely to give the BOK room to cut the rate further down the road. The decision, which was unanimous, came as exports, one of the main growth drivers of the Korean economy, faltered and annual inflation growth eased to a 12-year low in July, running below the BOK's inflation target band of 2-4%. The rate freeze came as the BOK can now wait and see the impact of monetary easing steps to be taken by the US and Europe before deciding on taking a second rate cut. The protracted eurozone debt crisis and China's slowing economy are blurring the prospects of the Korean economy, which grew a mere 0.4% on-quarter in the second quarter. South Korea's exports dropped 8.8% in July from a year earlier, the sharpest decline since September 2009. Imports fell for the fifth straight month as domestic demand is weakening due to the economic slowdown.