SEOUL, May 25 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's real household income was unchanged in the first quarter on the back of the still high inflation, statistical office data showed Thursday.
On a nominal basis, the monthly average income per household with one or more family members grew 4.7 percent over the year to 5,054,000 won (3,820 U.S. dollars) in the January-March quarter, according to Statistics Korea.
The real household income, adjusted for inflation, made no change in the first quarter, after diminishing 2.8 percent in the third quarter and 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter of last year.
The nominal earned income increased 8.6 percent to 3,326,000 won (2,510 dollars) on a monthly average basis, but the business income declined 6.8 percent to 804,000 won (610 dollars).
Property income jumped 18.2 percent to 38,000 won(30 dollars), but transfer income shrank 0.9 percent to 773,000 won (580 dollars).
The average monthly expenditure per household advanced 11.1 percent from a year earlier to 3,885,000 won (2,930 dollars) in the January-March quarter.
Consumption expenditure added 11.5 percent to 2,822,000 won (2,130 dollars) in the first quarter, while the inflation-adjusted real consumption expenditure gained 6.4 percent in the first quarter.
On a nominal basis, household expenditure on eatery and lodging, transport, leisure and culture services expanded in double digits owing to the lifting of measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Household spending on fuel surged 23.5 percent in the first quarter, marking the fastest-ever quarterly increase in higher public utility rates such as electricity and natural gas bills.
Non-consumption expenditure, which includes tax payments, social insurance premiums and interest rate, rose 10.2 percent over the year to 1,063,000 won (800 dollars) in the first quarter.
The interest rate payment logged the fastest quarterly growth of 42.8 percent due to the policy rate hikes.
The monthly average disposable income, or income minus non-consumption expenditure, per household, picked up 3.4 percent from a year earlier to 3,991,000 won (3,010 dollars) in the first quarter.
The propensity to consume among households, which measures the ratio of consumption expenditure to disposable income, climbed 5.1 percentage points to 70.7 percent in the cited quarter.
Income disparity among households widened in the January-March quarter.
The monthly average income of households in the bottom 20-percent income bracket rose 3.2 percent from a year earlier to 1,076,000 won (810 dollars) in the first quarter.
Income for households in the top 20-percent income group went up 6.0 percent to 11,483,000 won (8,670 dollars).
The average monthly expenditure of households in the bottom bracket jumped 13.7 percent to 1,319,000 won (990 dollars), while expenditure by the top group soared 17.7 percent to 5,125,000 won (3,870 dollars). ■