According to central bank data released on Wednesday, the public account deficit in South Korea reached an all-time high in 2022, mostly as a result of an increase in COVID-19 payments to small business owners and a spike in commodity prices.
According to preliminary figures from the Bank of Korea (BOK), the country’s public account shortfall reached 95.8 trillion won (US$72 billion) last year, which is the greatest amount since records began being kept in the country in 2007.
The deficit increased significantly from the 27.3 trillion won deficit recorded a year earlier.
The public sector’s overall spending increased by 17.4% year over year, while its overall revenue increased by 11%.
The BOK ascribed the larger deficit to higher government expenditure on grants and subsidies for those afflicted by the coronavirus, particularly mom-and-pop enterprises, as well as a rise in the production expenses of public firms amid an increase in energy prices.
The central government received 471.1 trillion won in total revenue last year, but spent 551.8 trillion won more than it took in.
Last year, public companies reported a yearly revenue of 222.8 trillion won and a yearly expense of 286.7 trillion won.