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S. Korea is likely to overtake Italy in national income

Posted January. 26, 2021 07:25,   

Updated January. 26, 2021 07:25


Bloomberg forecasted that South Korea’s Gross National Income (GNI) of 2020 will reach G7 levels, surpassing Italy.

According to the newspaper, Seoul’s per-capital income stood $33,790 in 2019 based on World Bank data, slightly below Italy’s $34,530. Italy has the lowest income among G7 countries.

It also said that economists estimate Italy’s economy shrank by around 9% last year due to mass shutdowns, a measure introduced to slow down the spread of COVID-19, adding that South Korea, on the other hand, is expected to report quarterly growth of 0.9% in the last three months of 2020 that would limit the contraction over the whole year to 1%.

“South Korea probably ended 2020 with less economic scarring than its developed peers and comparable income levels” it reported, attributing it to an increase in exports and a rising demand for semi-conductors. It said it would be the first time that Seoul’s GNI reaches G7 levels.

Bloomberg said, however, job losses that are piling up fastest since 1999 – a result of increasing exports not leading to more consumption in the domestic market - remains a threat to the South Korean economy.

Teuk-Gyo Koo kootg@donga.com