SEOUL Nov 22 Annual growth in South Korea's household credit cooled for a fifth consecutive quarter to its slowest rate in more than three years at the end of September due to a sustained economic slump, central bank data showed on Thursday.
Household credit growth at the end of September was 5.6 percent over a year earlier at 937.5 trillion won ($865 billion), the slowest growth since a 5.5 percent rise at the end of the second quarter of 2009, the Bank of Korea data showed.
It follows a revised 5.8 percent gain by the end of June in household credit including borrowing from financial institutions and purchases on credit. It is not adjusted for seasonal patterns or inflation.
South Korea's household debt burden has been on an easing track since posting a 9.1 percent annual rise at the end of the second quarter 2011, hit by the effects from the protracted euro zone debt crisis, weak domestic property market and slowing economy. ($1 = 1083.4000 Korean won) (Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Choonsik Yoo and Eric Meijer)