SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's household debts growth slowed down last year on the expected policy rate hike, joint data by central bank and financial regulator showed Thursday.
Debts owed by households to financial institutions increased 75.1 trillion won (67.1 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018, after growing 90.5 trillion won (80.9 billion U.S. dollars) in the previous year, according to data by Bank of Korea (BOK), Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) and Financial Services Commission (FSC).
It marked the lowest increase in four years on expectations that the central bank would raise its benchmark interest rate, which was lifted to 1.75 percent from 1.50 percent in November last year.
The South Korean policy rate was still lower than the U.S. target rate ranging from 2.25 percent to 2.50 percent. It boosted expectations for the BOK's further rate increase later this year.
The household debts growth from banks accelerated to 60.8 trillion won (54.3 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018 from 58.9 trillion won (52.6 billion U.S. dollars) in 2017.
However, the household debts increase from nonmonetary institutions, including insurers, credit unions and savings banks, sank from 31.7 trillion won (28.3 billion U.S. dollars) to 14.6 trillion won (13.1 billion U.S. dollars) in the cited period.