Containers are stacked up for outbound shipments at Gamman Pier in Busan on Jan. 21. According to provisional tallies by customs authorities, the country's exports came in at $34.4 billion during the first 20 days of the year, up 22 percent from a year before. (Yonhap)
South Korea's national debt surpassed the 1,000 trillion won ($781.07 billion) mark for the first time ever amid the government's expansionary fiscal spending to support the economic recovery, data showed Thursday.
The total government debt hit an all-time high of 1,001 trillion won as of end-April, up by 19.1 trillion won from a month earlier, according to the data compiled by the finance ministry.
The managed fiscal balance, a key gauge of fiscal health, posted a deficit of 37.9 trillion won as of the end of April, smaller than a shortfall of 40.4 trillion won a year earlier.
The country's total revenue for the first four months of this year amounted to 245.9 trillion won, up 28.3 trillion won from a year earlier, on the back of the increase in the collection of corporate, income and value-added taxes amid a recent economic recovery.
South Korea has continued to log a surplus of tax revenue, as the economy has been on a recovery track.
By year-end, the sovereign debt is expected to grow to 1,068.8 trillion won, including 31.1 trillion won of debt to be incurred by provincial governments, the data showed.
Last month, the National Assembly passed a 62 trillion-won extra budget bill to provide aid for small merchants hit hard by strict anti-COVID-19 curbs.
In 2021, the national debt, which covers bond sales and financial borrowing by central and provincial governments, reached a record high of 967.2 trillion won due to the government's increased debt sale amid the pandemic. (Yonhap)