South Korea ranks the highest among emerging economies in the ratio of household debt against its gross domestic product (GDP) for the 14th consecutive year.
According to the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) Sunday, Korea’s household debt amounted to 92.8 percent of its GDP last year, highest among 18 emerging nations. The unrespectable rank was followed by Malaysia with 70.3 percent, Thailand with 70.2 percent and Hong Kong with 67.7 percent.
Household debt ratio that had been just 1.9 percent of its economic size for Korea back in 1962 jumped above 50 percent in 2000 and hovered above 60 percent in 2002. By the second quarter of 2002, it outstripped Hong Kong with the worst debt problem among the emerging category with the ratio of 62.5 percent against the latter’s 61.4 percent. Korea has topped the list ever since.
When counting in 25 advanced countries surveyed by the BIS, Korea had the eighth highest ratio among the total of 43. It far outpaced major economies such as the U.S. with 79.5 percent, the Eurozone with 58.5 percent, Japan with 62.5 percent and Britain with 87.6 percent.
Korea’s household debt grew at the third fastest pace in the world in 2016 from a year-ago period, as the portion of the country’s household debt to its GDP gained 4.7 percentage points to 92.8 percent. The pace of growth ranked third among 43 major economies in the world, following Norway which came in first with 6.3 percentage points, trailed by China with 5.6 percentage points.
By Boo Jang-won
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]