The number of newly established firms in South Korea soared to a new high in July as retirees opted to start their own businesses, central bank data showed Thursday.
A total of 8,129 companies were established last month, compared with 7,133 in June, according to the Bank of Korea. The July figure is the highest since the central bank began compiling the data in January 1998.
"A continued rise in the number of baby boomers opening their businesses and an increase in the number of working days last month led to the high figure," a central bank official said.
Separate data by the Small and Medium Business Administration show that people in their 50s accounted for 25.5 percent of those who started businesses in the first half of the year.
Those in their 40s came next with 39.5 percent, followed by those in their 30s at 22.6 percent.
The central bank data also showed that the number of firms that went bankrupt rose by 16 to 83 in July. The data include companies whose current deposit accounts have been suspended. They do not cover companies that have applied for court receivership.
The default rate of corporate bills -- bonds, checks and promissory notes -- came in at 0.21 percent last month, staying almost flat from 0.22 percent in the previous month. (Yonhap)