S.Korea Q2 household credit growth hits 9-mth high, hints at upturn
SEOUL Aug 22 (Reuters) - South Korea's annual household credit growth expanded at the quickest pace in nine months over the second quarter, central bank data showed on Thursday, hinting at a turnaround in domestic consumption.
Household credit in the April-June period was up 5.5 percent on an annual basis at 980 trillion won ($877 billion), versus a revised 5.1 percent gain three months before, the Bank of Korea said.
It was the fastest growth since a 5.6 percent annual rise in household credit seen at the end of the third quarter of 2012, and the first acceleration after the rate of household credit growth slowed for seven consecutive quarters.
The measure includes borrowings from financial institutions and purchases on credit and is not adjusted for seasonal patterns or inflation.
Households borrowing money for real estate mainly drove the gain as South Koreans took advantage of tax cuts that expired at end-June, the Bank of Korea said.
South Korea's household debt burden has eased considerably since mid-2011, when the credit growth rate shot to over 9 percent, as continuous economic crises sapped consumer confidence and reduced borrowing levels. ($1 = 1117.3000 Korean won) (Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Eric Meijer)
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