Korea’s fiscal soundness worsens slightly in 2013


Korea’s fiscal soundness worsened slightly
last year,… something the government is attributing to the provision of extra budgetry funds to
boost the local economy. Hwang Ji-hye has the details. Korea’s finance
ministry said Tuesday… that the nation’s sovereign debt,… including that of regional governments,…
came to around 483-trillion won,… or roughly 460-billion U.S. dollars last year.
That is up around 38 billion dollars from 2012.
The ministry attributed the rise in debt to an extra budget arranged to boost the domestic economy last year.
The national debt to gross domestic product also inched up about one-and-a-half percentage points last year to 33-point-8 percent.
The figure stands far below the OECD average of around 100 percent,… meaning that the nation’s fiscal health remains sound.
Experts say, however, the rapidly aging population could lead to a bigger fiscal deficit in view of growing welfare spendings.
Korea’s fiscal deficit to GDP stood at one-and-a-half percent last year… compared to 1-point-3 percent in 2012.
It marks the highest figure since 2009, when it was 3-point-8 percent.
The government debt does not include pension liabilities that the government will have
to pay out to beneficiaries in the future.
Korea’s total liabilities,… including the pension obligations, rose about 20 percent
to more than 1-trillion dollars last year.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.

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