Korea’s per capita GNI hits all-time high in 2012Korea’s per capita gross national income (GNI) is estimated to have reached an all-time high in 2012 despite the country’s low economic growth, the Finance Ministry said yesterday.
The country’s nominal per capita GNI probably came to $22,720 last year, up 1 percent from the previous year’s $22,489, according to the ministry.
The ministry’s estimate is based on the assumption that the country’s nominal gross domestic product expanded 3.2 percent in 2012 from a year earlier, amounting to 1,240 trillion won ($1.15 trillion).
On an inflation-adjusted basis, the Korean economy grew 2 percent on-year last year.
Last year’s growth rate of the per capita GNI, however, was much lower than the 9.4 percent on-year increase recorded in the previous year.
The ministry’s latest estimate is lower than its previous forecast. In August last year, the ministry forecast the country’s per capita GNI to reach $23,159 for 2012, based on its 3.3 percent economic growth outlook and average currency exchange rate of 1,130 won per dollar.
Korea’s per capita GNI dropped to $19,161 and $17,041 in 2008 and 2009, respectively, in the face of the global financial crisis. The figure bounced back to $20,562 in 2010
The lackluster on-year growth rate of last year’s per-capita GNI was attributed to the local currency’s descent against the U.S. dollar on top of the low economic growth.
The local currency changed hands at an average 1,126.8 won against the greenback, compared with an average exchange rate of 1,108 won.
Private economists predicted that Korea’s per capita GNI will continue to increase in the coming years due to the local currency’s appreciation against the greenback.