South Korea spending in Q1 hits record

SEOUL: South Korea’s government spent a record 43.4 trillion won (US$37.9bil) in the first three months, more than a quarter of the amount planned for this year, as it sought to spur growth of Asia’s fourth largest economy. 

The government had spent 27.3% of this year’s budget, the Ministry of Planning and Budget said in a statement yesterday.  

The 43.4 trillion won was more than the 42.7 trillion won the government forecast it would spend in the January–March period, it said. 

“We will aim to meet our target to accelerate spending so that an export-led economic recovery will expand to the domestic demand, helped by consumer spending and facilities investment,” the ministry said. 

South Korea said earlier that it would spend 54.8% of this year’s 159 trillion won budget in the first half to provide financial aid to smaller companies, create more jobs, and build more roads and other facilities. 

The country needs a pick-up in consumer spending and corporate investment to lift economic growth to over 5% this year, more than last year’s 3.1% expansion.  

The government trimmed sales tax on cars, air-conditioners and golf clubs last month in an effort to boost consumer spending. – Bloomberg  

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