S. Korea's household debt growth slows in H1 on gov't measures

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-11 13:52:33|Editor: Li Xia
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SEOUL, July 11 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's household debt growth slowed down in the first half of 2019 on the government's measures to control speculative investment in the real estate market, joint government data showed Thursday.

Debts owed by households to financial institutions, including banks and non-monetary institutions, went up by 18.1 trillion won (15.5 billion U.S. dollars) during the January-June period, according to joint data by the Bank of Korea, the Financial Services Commission and the Financial Supervisory Service.

The first-half household debt growth kept slowing from 40.2 trillion won (34.3 billion U.S. dollars) in 2017 to 33.6 trillion won (28.7 billion U.S. dollars) in 2018.

It was attributed to the government's measures to curb speculative investment in the property market.

The central bank raised its benchmark interest rate from an all-time low of 1.25 percent to 1.50 percent in November 2017, before lifting it further to 1.75 percent in November 2018.

In June alone, the household debts grew by 5.2 trillion won (4.4 billion U.S. dollars), slowing from an increase of 6.2 trillion won (5.3 billion U.S. dollars) a year earlier.

Household debts extended by non-monetary institutions reduced in the month, but those by banks rose on demand for mortgage loans ahead of the entry into new apartments in the Seoul and metropolitan area.