South Korea’s money supply grew at its slowest pace in 10 months in October as bank lending remained weak despite the current account surplus, the central bank said Wednesday.
South Korea’s M2, a narrow measure of the money supply, rose 4.6% on-year to 1,827.3 trillion won (US$1.7 trillion) in October, slowing from a 5.2% on-year gain in September, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
It marked the slowest growth since December 2011 when the M2 grew 4.4% from a year earlier, it added.
On a seasonally adjusted basis, the country’s M2 grew 0.2% in October from the previous month, picking up from a 0.1% on-month gain in September.
The M2 covers currency in circulation and all types of deposits with a maturity of less than two years at lenders and non-banking financial institutions, excluding those held by insurers and brokerage houses.
The data came one day before BOK policymakers are scheduled to hold their monthly rate-setting session. The central bank is widely expected to freeze the key rate for the second straight month in December, analysts say.
The BOK said in a separate statement that the growth of South Korea’s M2 is estimated to have slowed to the mid-4% range in November as bank lending remained lackluster despite the current account surplus.
South Korea’s liquidity aggregate, the broadest measure of the money supply, grew 7.8% in October from the previous year, down from the 8.9% on-year gain in September, it added.
The liquidity aggregate covers currency in circulation and all types of deposits at financial institutions, and state and corporate bonds.