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S. Korea logs budget surplus for 5th straight year in 2019


SEJONG -- South Korea posted a budget surplus for the fifth year in a row in the 2019 fiscal year, despite a slight decline in tax revenue, the finance ministry said Monday.

The gross revenue the government brought in last year came to 402 trillion won ($337.3 billion), while its expenditures totaled 397.3 trillion won, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance after closing its books for fiscal year 2019.

With 2.6 trillion won worth of the balance carried forward to this year, the surplus reached 2.1 trillion won in 2019, but the tally is sharply lower than the surplus of 13.2 trillion won logged in 2018.

Tax revenue amounted to 293.5 trillion won in 2019, down 100 billion won from a year earlier.

Corporate tax earnings rose 1.2 percent on-year to 63 trillion won in 2019, compared with a 19 percent jump in 2018, due to lackluster exports of semiconductors and other goods last year.

In 2019, South Korea's exports fell 10.3 percent on-year to $542.4 billion, hit by a prolonged trade war between the US and China. (Yonhap)