South Korea's central bank has lowered its growth forecast for Asia's fourth-largest economy.

The Bank of Korea said Tuesday that South Korea's economy will likely expand 2.8 percent this year over a year earlier, down from the 3.0 percent expansion predicted in January.

Governor Lee Ju-yeol blamed the economy's weaker-than-expected first quarter performance and the downward revision in the global economic outlook by global agencies.

South Korea's exports are suffering as demand from China, its top trading partner, softens. Lee said that despite uncertainties in the global outlook, South Korea will see a modest recovery during the rest of the year.

The bank kept its monthly policy rate at a record low of 1.5 percent. It lowered the base rate twice last year.