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S. Korea's national debt tops 1,700 tln won in 2019

All Headlines 10:04 April 07, 2020

SEOUL, April 7 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's national debt grew sharply from a year earlier in 2019, breaching the 1,700 trillion-won mark for the first time, a government report showed Tuesday.

The country's national debt came to 1,743.6 trillion won (US$1.42 trillion) as of end-2019, up 60.2 trillion won from a year earlier, according to the settlement of state accounts, reviewed and endorsed by the Cabinet in a Seoul meeting.

S. Korea's national debt tops 1,700 tln won in 2019 - 1

Government debt, which includes debt owed by local governments, came to 728.8 trillion won, also up 48.3 trillion won from 2018 and breaching the 700 trillion-won mark for the first time in history.

The amount translates into about 14.09 million won in per capita debt.

Such a sharp increase in government debt was largely attributed to a rise in outstanding government bonds, which jumped 50.9 trillion won from a year before in 2019, amid a cut in tax revenue and an increase in spending.

The government posted a 1.3 trillion-won deficit in tax revenue last year, while its extraordinary expenditures gained 10.5 trillion won from a year earlier.

Its consolidated fiscal balance came to a 12 trillion-won deficit, marking a turnaround from a 31.2 trillion-won surplus in 2018.

Still, the ratio of the country's government debt to its gross domestic product came to 38.1 percent at end-2019, nearly unchanged from a year earlier.

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