SEOUL, May 20 (Xinhua) – South Korean household incomes rose in first quarter as government offered grants to help low-income households overcome the economic recession of the COVID pandemic -19, showed data from statistical offices on Thursday.
Average monthly household income, including single-person households, reached 4,384,000 won (US $ 3,870) in the January-March quarter, 0.4% more than the previous year, according to Statistics Korea.
Revenue and business fell amid the pandemic shock to the economy, but transfer revenue skyrocketed as a result of the government’s offer of relief checks.
Average monthly income fell 1.3 percent year-on-year to 2,778,000 won (US $ 2,450) in the March quarter, marking the largest decline in the first quarter.
Business revenue declined 1.6 percent to 767,000 won (US $ 680), and continued to decline for the second consecutive quarter. Real estate revenues fell 14.4% in the first quarter.
The pandemic erupted in the face-to-face services sector and hit employment and businesses hard, especially in the restaurant and lodging segment, the statistical office said.
Average monthly revenue from transfers increased 16.5% during the year, to 723,000 won (US $ 640) in the first quarter, recording the fastest expansion in the first quarter in 14 years since 2007.
Public transfer revenue increased 27.9% over government grants, but private transfer revenue fell 2.4% in the quarter.
Government subsidies helped reduce the income disparity. The average monthly income of households in the lower 20% increased by 9.9%, to 910,000 won (US $ 800) in the first quarter.
The lowest-income business and group revenues contracted 3.2 percent and 1.5 percent each, but public transfer revenues rose 23.1 percent to 436,000 won (US $ 380) ).
Household average monthly income in the upper 20 percent income bracket fell 2.8 percent in the quarter, becoming the only income group to record a median income slide. of the lower bonus for companies.
Meanwhile, the average monthly consumption expenditure of all households increased 1.6 percent during the year, to 2,419,000 won (US $ 2,140) in the first quarter.
It marked the first rebound in three quarters, as consumer sentiment improved after the mass launch of COVID-19 vaccines in late February.
Expenditure on food, non-alcoholic beverages, clothing, household items and education increased by a single digit, but those in the entertainment and culture sector, and restaurants and accommodation decreased by 9.4% and 2.4% respectively.
Average monthly non-consumption spending, such as social security contribution and payment of transfers to nonprofits, fell 1.3 percent to 873,000 won (US $ 770).
With the support of government subsidies, spending among households on the lower income bracket of 20% rose 8.9% in the first quarter, but spending on the income bracket above 20% fell by 0, 6%.
The average monthly disposable income of all households, or household income minus non-consumption expenditure, amounted to 3,511,000 won (US $ 3,100) in the first quarter, 0.8% more than the previous year.