S. Korea's fiscal deficit widens in H1

SEJONG, Aug. 30 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's fiscal deficit widened during the first half of this year from a year earlier amid the prolonged economic slowdown, the finance ministry said Friday.

The consolidated fiscal account, which reflects the central government's total income and expenditure, came to 28.6 trillion won (US$25.7 billion) in deficit during the January-June period, up from 11.5 trillion won of deficit tallied during the same period a year earlier, the ministry said.

The fiscal account, excluding social security funds, also logged a deficit of 46.2 trillion won during the same period, up from 29.9 trillion won in shortfall a year earlier.

The ministry attributed the widened fiscal deficit to less tax revenue caused by the delayed economic recovery coupled with the government's drive to front-load its budget to kickstart growth.

Also behind the widened deficit is the 17.3 trillion won supplementary budget plan unveiled in May, the ministry said, as most of the additional spending is to be raised through debt sale.

<All rights reserved by Yonhap News Agency>