By Lee Sun-young, An average Korean household spends nearly 24 percent of its total disposable income to meet debt obligations data showed Monday, amid concerns over record-level household debt. As of March, an average Korean family has 342 million won ($290,800) in total assets, 61.8 million won in debt and an annual disposable income of 39 million won. All three grew modestly from a year ago, but the income marked the fastest gain of 2.7 percent. These are some of the key findings contained in a report released Monday jointly by the Bank of Korea, Statistics Korea and the Financial Supervisory Service to provide a snapshot of the financial well-being of Korean households. Based on a survey of 20,000 households and data collected from the start of 2014 till March this year, the report comes as economists warn of Korea’s fast growing household debt as a key potential risk for the economy. The country’s total household debt stands at 1,166 trillion won as of November, on path to surpass the 1,200 trillion won mark. Monday’s report showed the average household’s debt grew 2.1 percent to 61.8 million, of which borrowing from financial institutions make up 70 percent. Annual income grew 2.3 percent to 47.6 million, while the after-tax income came in at 39.2 million won, 2.7 percent higher than the previous year. The debt service ratio — a key gauge of a household’s financial soundness represented as a percentage of disposable income used to repay interest and principal —posted a marked growth, rising to 24.2 percent from the previous year’s 21.7 percent.
source : The Korea Herald, 22nd of Des, 2015