South Korea will speed up its budget spending in the first quarter as it seeks to revitalize the economy through large-scale investment projects, a vice finance minister said Friday.
Vice Finance Minister Koo Yun-cheol said it is most important for the economy to gain recovery momentum this year, backed by the government's expansionary fiscal policies.
"The government will focus on spending in social infrastructure and job creation in the first quarter," Koo said, according to a statement released by the finance ministry.
The ministry has said 62 percent of the state budget will be implemented in the first half of this year.
In particular, the government will spend 37 percent of the budget for job creation in the first quarter.
South Korea's economy is expected to grow 2.4 percent this year, following last year's estimated 2 percent expansion, on the back of an anticipated recovery in the memory chip sector and a series of policy measures.
Hit by a lengthy US-China trade war and a cyclical slump in the memory chip sector, the nation's economy is poised to report its weakest annual growth in a decade last year.
As part of the government's initiative to boost the economy through investment, state-run institutions will expand next year's investment to 60 trillion won ($51.4 billion) from 55 trillion won for this year.
Also, the government will encourage private firms to spend 25 trillion won in large-scale investment projects. (Yonhap)