Korean Economy by Indicator
Published on June 26, 2020
Published by Economic Analysis Coordination Division, Economic Analysis Department
This report provides data necessary for drafting policies in the economic, population, employment, and welfare sectors at the 21st National Assembly by summarizing and presenting recent changes to major economic and social indicators. The economic indicators are divided into those of the real economy, external, financial/asset, fiscal, and social sectors, and detailed indicators were selected with the importance and timeliness of each sector considered. In addition, economic indicators with the need and importance of comparing with other countries are presented side by side with other OECD member countries.
In the real economy sector, nominal GDP of Korea has continued to increase over the past four years, and GDP per capita income has been hovering above $30,000 since 2017. The economic growth rate was 2.0% in 2019 and has been slowing since 2017. Korea's recent Index of All Industry Production (IAIP) has been on the rise, and total fixed investment went up during 2016 and 2017 before going down since then. In the past four years, consumption has increased by more than 3.0% per annum, while the growth rate of consumer prices has been trending downward since 2017.
In the external sector, both export and import amounts decreased in 2019 after increasing in 2016~2018, and the current account balance has remained in the black for the past 4 years. Foreign exchange reserves are steadily increasing, and the annual average exchange rates rose in 2019 after falling in 2017~2018.
As for the financial/asset sector, interest rates of treasury bonds (10-year maturity) have been in overall decline since 2018, and stock prices have been on a downward trend since 2017. The currency multiplier has also been declining while the money supply has been on the increase, and the National Housing Price Index fell in 2019 after rising in 2016~2018. The ratio of household credit (household debt) and corporate debt to GDP has been trending upward.
As for the fiscal sector, the national debt increased in 2019 with total central government expenditures on the sharply increase. Recently, tax and national burden rates have been showing an upward trend, and local governments’ consolidated fiscal revenue and consolidated fiscal expenditures have been increasing.
In the social sector, the number of births and the total fertility rate have continued to fall, while the employment and unemployment rates have both risen slightly in the last four years. The average monthly wage has been increasing for the past four years, and the wage growth rate was higher in 2019 than what it was in 2016. Gini coefficient of disposable income decreased somewhat in 2018, improving income inequality, and median household income increased in terms of both market income and disposable income.