Korea's National Debt Surpasses GDP

  • By Kim Jung-hoon

    April 07, 2021 11:14

    Korea's national debt swelled to W1.99 quadrillion last year, surpassing the country's GDP for the first time (US$1=W1,122).

    Last year's GDP was 1.92 quadrillion.

    The national debt, which includes money the government must repay by a certain period plus government pensions, increased by W241.6 trillion compared to 2019.

    The swelling debt was attributed to increased welfare programs and coronavirus relief payouts.

    Excluding government pensions, the debt stood at W846.9 trillion, up W123.7 trillion on-year, compared to W660 trillion when President Moon Jae-in took office in 2017.

    Kim Woo-cheol at the University of Seoul said, "The government urgently needs to start thinking about improving fiscal health, but I don't see this happening."

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