Poor spend more of budget on foodLow-income Koreans’ spending on food and nonalcoholic beverages surged to a seven-year high in the third quarter due to a rise in grain and vegetable prices, a government report showed yesterday
According to Statistics Korea’s report, the Engel’s coefficient stood at 22.8 percent for people in the lowest 20 percent income bracket in the July-September period.
The figure represents the highest level since the 24.4 percent recorded in the third quarter of 2004.
The Engel’s coefficient measures the percentage of an average household’s expenditure on food to its total spending.
While the proportion of food spending usually increases when income declines, a rise in food prices can cause the Engel’s coefficient to rise. The state office attributed the surge in the coefficient to rises in prices of groceries and nonalcoholic beverages. Third-quarter consumer spending increased 5.8 percent annually, but expenditures on food and nonalcoholic beverages expanded 7 percent, it said.
Spending on salt, pepper and other ingredients used in seasonings showed the steepest rise of 65.1 percent from one year ago, according to the office.
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