South Korea 2013 fiscal deficit 1.5 percent of GDP vs. 1.3 percent in 2012

SEOUL Mon Apr 7, 2014 7:09pm EDT

South Korea's President Park Geun-hye attends the opening session of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in The Hague March 24, 2014. REUTERS/Yves Herman

South Korea's President Park Geun-hye attends the opening session of the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in The Hague March 24, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Yves Herman

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea said on Tuesday that it ran a bigger fiscal deficit in 2013 than in the previous year on an extra budget passed last year that resulted in more debt being issued.

The Ministry of Strategy and Finance said in a statement the government ran a fiscal deficit of 1.5 percent of annual gross domestic product (GDP) compared with a revised 1.3 percent figure for 2012.

The fiscal deficit for 2013 was smaller than 1.8 percent initially forecast due to revisions made to GDP statistics by the Bank of Korea starting this year.

The South Korean economy grew an estimated 3.0 percent last year, compared with 2.3 percent in 2012, partly due to an extra budget valued at 17.3 trillion won ($16.4 billion) in 2013.

The government now expects Asia's fourth-largest economy to expand by 3.9 percent this year on a recovery backed by improved exports and domestic consumption. South Korea's budget this year has forecast a fiscal deficit of 1.8 percent of GDP in 2014.

In the same finance ministry statement, South Korea's sovereign debt, including that of regional governments, stood at 33.8 percent of GDP compared with 36.2 percent initially targeted in 2013.

($1 = 1,053.5000 Korean Won)

(Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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