South Korea's national debt issued inched down to fall below the 1,100 trillion-won ($838.5 billion) level as of end-September on the repayment of government bonds, though the fiscal deficit logged an on-month growth, data showed Thursday.
The country's debt as measured in outstanding state bonds came to 1,099 trillion won in September, down 10.4 trillion won from a month earlier, according to the Ministry of Economy and Finance.
From the end of last year, the figure rose by 66.1 trillion won.
The government forecast the national debt to come to 1,101.7 trillion won for the whole of 2023.
During the January-October period, a total of 154.8 trillion won worth of government bonds were sold, or 92.3 percent of this year's limit, according to the ministry.
The managed fiscal balance, a key gauge of fiscal health calculated on a stricter term, posted a deficit of 70.6 trillion won through September, up from 66 trillion won a month earlier.
The figure surpassed the government's forecast for this year of 58.2 trillion won.
The government's total revenue came to 436.3 trillion won in the January-September period, down 46.9 trillion won on-year, as tax revenue fell 16.02 percent on-year to 266.6 trillion won due to less income and corporate taxes collected.
Total expenditures also fell 12.8 percent to 467.5 trillion won during the cited period, as the government spent less on pandemic-related subsidies and projects, according to the ministry. (Yonhap)