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S. Korea's public account deficit hit all-time high in 2022

15:11 September 20, 2023

SEOUL, Sept. 20 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's public account deficit hit an all-time high in 2022 largely due to an increase in COVID-19 handouts to small merchants and a rise in commodity prices, central bank data showed Wednesday.

The country's public account shortfall came to 95.8 trillion won (US$72 billion) last year, the highest since the country began keeping record of the data in 2007, according to the preliminary data from the Bank of Korea (BOK).

The shortfall posted a steep increase from a deficit of 27.3 trillion won tallied a year earlier.

The public sector's total spending increased 17.4 percent on-year, while its total income climbed 11 percent.

The BOK attributed the bigger deficit to increased government spending on grants and subsidies for coronavirus-affected people, including mom-and-pop businesses, and a hike in public firms' production costs amid a surge in energy prices.

The central government brought in 471.1 trillion won in total income last year, but the total spending outweighed the income at 551.8 trillion won.

Public firms posted a yearly income of 222.8 trillion won last year and a yearly expenditure of 286.7 trillion won.



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