S. Korea not considering extra budget for 2023: finance minister
By Kang Yoon-seung
SEJONG, Dec. 27 (Yonhap) -- Finance Minister Choo Kyung-ho said Tuesday that South Korea is not considering seeking an extra budget for next year if its economic growth falls in line with expectations.
Last week, the Ministry of Economy and Finance lowered the country's 2023 economic growth to 1.6 percent from the previous estimate of 2.5 percent made in June, citing global monetary tightening moves and weaker exports.
"We are not considering an extra budget if the economic trend remains within the government's expectations, unless there are major disasters or external economic jitters," Choo told reporters.
The minister added that market watchers from home and abroad are suggesting the South Korean economy may improve in the second half of 2023, hinting that the country is not in an urgent need for an extra budget.
Choo added an extra budget is only needed when the country faces unexpected situations such as war, massive unemployment or a recession.
"We need to be extra prudent when reviewing an extra budget just because (the country's) potential economic growth has slowed," Choo said.
"Of course, economic situations may change, and we can review (an extra budget) depending on situations," Choo added while pointing out that the current administration will not make light of an extra budget.
During the meeting with reporters, Choo said while it is inevitable to raise electric bills in 2023 amid the soaring energy prices, the country will consider raising gas prices after the first quarter to ease the financial burden on the people during the winter season.
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