Korea's national debt to rise by 19.6 tln won in 2013

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Korea's national debt to rise by 19.6 tln won in 2013

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South Korea's national debt will likely grow 19.6 trillion won (US$17.6 billion) in 2013 from this year due to an increase in state bond issues, a government report showed Tuesday.

According to the report by the finance ministry, the country's national debt is forecast to reach 464.8 trillion won next year, up 4.4 percent from 445.2 trillion won estimated for this year.

The report also forecast that the national debt will increase to 470.6 trillion won in 2014, 481.2 trillion won in 2015 and 487.5 trillion won in 2016.

Of next year's debt, 228.7 trillion won, or 49.2 percent of the total, should be repaid with taxpayer money. The ratio, which peaked at 49.3 percent in 2010, is expected to stay at similar levels until 2014.

The ministry said that it plans to cut the ratio to 48.7 percent in 2015 and 47.6 percent in 2016, respectively.

Despite increasing national debt, its ratio to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) will likely decline going forward thanks to the continued economic growth.

The report showed that the country's debt-to-GDP ratio will decline to 33.2 percent next year from 34 percent estimated for this year. It is expected to fall further to 29.9 percent and 28.3 percent in 2015 and 2016. (Yonhap)

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