South Korea’s National Debt Approaches 1,110 Trillion Won in November 2023

SEOUL - South Korea's national debt neared 1,110 trillion won (US$824.68 billion) by the end of November 2023, showing an increase from the previous month, according to data released by the Ministry of Economy and Finance on Thursday. The data also indicated a growth in the fiscal deficit.

According to Yonhap News Agency, The ministry's report revealed that the country's debt, measured in outstanding state bonds, increased by 4 trillion won from the previous month, reaching 1,109.5 trillion won at the end of November. This represents a 76 trillion won rise since the end of the previous year. The government had earlier projected the national debt to hit 1,101.7 trillion won for the entirety of 2023. In the past year, the government sold 165.7 trillion won worth of bonds.

The managed fiscal balance, a stricter gauge of fiscal health, posted a deficit of 64.9 trillion won through November, exceeding the government's forecast for the year by 6.7 trillion won. The decline in tax revenue, attributed to weaker corporate performances and a slump in the property market, led to a decrease in total revenue to 524.2 trillion won in the January-November period. Government expenditures also fell by 15.5 percent to 548.6 trillion won, as spending on pandemic-related subsidies and projects was reduced.

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