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Per Capita Income Topped 10,000 Dollars Last Year

Posted March. 21, 2003 22:20,   


Per capita income for South Koreans reached 10,013 dollars last year, topping $10,000, for the first time since the 1997 financial crisis.

The Bank of Korea reported today that the real GDP last year posted a high growth of 6.3% from the previous year due to rising domestic consumption, exports and capital expenditure.

By quarter, the GDP recorded 6.2% growth in the first quarter, 6.6% in the second, and a decline of 5.8% in the third. However, with the help of mounting exports and capital expenditure, the fourth quarter growth registered 6.8%, exceeding the expected 6.5%.

Per capita GNI reached $10,013 last year, up 11.3% from $9,000 in 2001, exceeding 10,000 dollars for the first time since 1997 when it reached 10,315 dollars. The sharp rise was due to the high growth rate as well as the 3.1% decrease in the won-dollar exchange rate. The won-denominated per capita GNI stood at 12.53 million won, a rise of 7.8% from a year ago

The savings rate posted 29.2 percent last year from 30.2 percent in 2001, due to the declining individual savings rate. The investment rate recorded 26.1%, down from 27% due to a low increase in capital expenditure.

The BOK said that production, consumption and investment contracted visibly this year due to the sluggish world economy and the North Korea’s nuclear development program. Accordingly, first quarter growth is expected to be 4%, lower than the expected 5.6%.

Kwu-Jin Lim mhjh22@donga.com