G20 countries gov't debt surpasses US$ 57 trillion
Massive spending by governments since the global financial crisis has resulted in a huge increase in government debt among G20 nations.
Korea has seen the figure rise by more than two thirds in the past half decade.
Kim Hyesung takes a closer look. According to data from the Bank for International Settlements on Monday, the government debt of G20 member countries has risen to over three times the size of the entire U.S. economy.
As of last June, the figure had risen to over fifty-seven trillion U.S. dollars... compared to U.S. GDP in 2015 of about 18 trillion.
The U.S. government had the most debt at 18.9 trillion dollars, accounting for a third of the figure for G20 countries, followed by the governments of Japan, the UK, Italy and France.
The eurozone, made up of 19 countries, tallied over 12-and-a-half trilllion dollars -- smaller than the U.S. but more than Japan.
The debt's been piling up rapidly over the past five years... at a rate of 16 percent for the G20 members.
Korea's jumped by 67 percent, much higher than the United States' 22 percent and the eurozone's 13 percent.
In the first half of 2016 alone, the G20 countries' debt increased by over five trillion dollars, or nine percent. Experts attribute that to the countries' expansionary fiscal policies in recent years.
"The U.S. cut its key interest rates and used quantitative easing to create more jobs and boost growth. Eurozone countries, cannot use monetary policies or manipulate their exchange rates due to regulations, so they resorted to expansionary fiscal policies, which only increased their government debt. As for Korea, a low economic growth and a rising number of senior citizens led to an increase in government spending, especially on welfare."
With the incoming Trump administration expected to inject more money into the U.S. economy through government infrastructure investment... and the eurozone and Japan to continue their expansionary fiscal policies this year, government debt in the G20 is all but certain to keep rising.