The Bank of Korea (BOK) on Tuesday left the base rate unchanged at a record low of 2 percent despite a recent wave of monetary easing by central banks around the world as the BOK gauges the impact of previous rate cuts.
The latest policy move marks a fourth straight month that South Korea's central bank has stood pat on the base rate after slashing it by a quarter percentage point twice, in August and October, last year.
The rate freeze matches a poll by Yonhap Infomax, the financial news arm of South Korea's News (Yonhap).
All 17 analysts surveyed said the BOK was likely to hold the base rate this month, citing growing household debt and remarks by government officials that hinted against using monetary policy to boost growth.
In a statement, the monetary policy committee noted that exports have decreased due mainly to sliding oil prices, and the domestic demand recovery and economic agents' sentiment continuing to remain weak.
The policy board said it will continue to monitor external risks factors, such as falling oil prices and shifting monetary policies at major economies, as well as domestic factors, such as household debt.
With the base rate at a record low, household loans extended by local banks have been trending higher since last year's rate cuts.
The latest data by the central bank showed that outstanding bank loans to households reached 562.3 trillion won (US$511.8 billion) in January, posting the first on-month gain for the month of January since data compiling began in 2008.