It looks like the population's purchasing power in Korea is lagging behind the nation's economic growth.
The Bank of Korea said Thursday that the nation's gross national income rose a mere 0.5 percent in the first quarter from the previous one -- the slowest pace of expansion in two years.
But the central bank says that the slower growth is largely coming from seasonal factors.
"Above all, smaller dividends earned by Korean companies from their investments overseas compared to the fourth quarter last year resulted in slower GNI growth."
A country's gross national income includes not just the domestic output but also the income received from abroad.
And with companies paying dividends in respect of their financial year that often ends at the year-end, the gross national income usually drops in the first quarter compared to a quarter earlier.
Overall economic activities remained to be on a track to recovery as the nation's gross domestic product grew 0.9 percent in the January to March period from the previous three months.
That matches up with the growth of around one percent that the economy has posted over recent quarters.
From a year earlier, Asia's fourth-largest economy grew 3.9 percent in the first quarter this year, accelerating from 3.7 percent growth in the fourth quarter.
The central bank expects the domestic economy to grow four percent for all of this year.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.
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