GDI in the Red for 1st Time in 2 Decades

  • By Choi Kyu-min

    January 23, 2020 11:24

    Korea's economy grew at the slowest rate in a decade last year, while its gross domestic income actually dropped for the first time in 21 years.

    GDI, which is the total income earned by all sectors of an economy, reached -0.4 percent, the Bank of Korea said Wednesday. Korea's GDI surpassed economic growth from 2015 to 2017 at 6.5 percent, 4.4 percent and 3.3 percent, but fell to 1.4 percent in 2018 and shifted into the red last year.

    Two years after the government trumpeted the launch of its "income-led growth" policy, total income ended up shrinking.

    Park Yang-su at the BOK said, "A decline in GDI limits the purchasing power of the main agents of economic activity and could have a negative impact on consumption."

    There have been only three instances in Korea's modern history when GDI shrank -- in 1956 just after the Korean War, in 1980 right after the second oil shock, and in 1998 just after the Asian financial crisis. Even amid the global financial crisis in 2008, GDI increased 0.1 percent.

    Per-capita gross national income is also estimated to have shrunk from US$33,433 in 2018 to around $32,000.

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