Global economy is now facing a new era of debt crisis. The U.S. economy, which had suffered from twin deficits, experienced the worst crisis since the Great Depression after the subprime mortgage market collapsed, while Europe has been groaning in pain over the unabated sovereign debt crisis.
South Korea is now enjoying a status as safe haven from debt crisis, but it cannot bet anymore that the Asia's No.4 economy would sustain such status for long. The nation's sovereign debt, which stayed small compared with other major countries, had the risk of surging given the potential fiscal expenditures amid aging population. Household debts that had already grown to the dangerous level continued to rise mainly led by non-bank institutions and low-income earners.
"As of now, South Korea's sovereign debt remains at a safe level as the ratio of the nation's sovereign debt to gross domestic product (GDP) stood at around 33 percent as of 2010. But, from the long-term perspective, the rate could rise at a faster pace than those seen in the advanced nations in the past due to the possible surge in welfare and healthcare expenditures amid aging population," Yoon Sang-ha, an economist at LG Economic Research Institute (LGERI), told Xinhua Tuesday.