(LEAD) S. Korea sees 3rd-largest per-capita GDP fall among major economies in 2022

South Korea’s per-capita gross domestic product (GDP) fell by the most among major economies after Japan and Sweden last year, data showed Wednesday.

The country’s per-capita GDP dropped 8.2 percent on-year to come to US$32,142 in 2022, according to the data analyzed by the Bank of Korea based on reports of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank and released by Rep. Jin Sun-mee of the main opposition Democratic Party.

It was the third-sharpest decline among 47 major nations that involve the world’s top 30 economies and OECD member countries following Japan logging a 15.1 percent fall and Sweden with an 8.5 percent decline, the data showed.

Last year’s sharp fall was attributable to the weakness of the Korean won against the U.S. dollar.

In terms of the local currency, South Korea’s nominal GDP rose 3.9 percent on-year to 2,161.8 trillion won (US$1.68 trillion), but the dollar-based figure marked a 7.9 percent on-year fall, or the second-largest decline among major nations in the world.

The local currency traded at 1,291.75 won against the U.S. dollar on average in 2022, compared with 1,144.32 won from a year earlier.

South Korea ranked the world’s 22nd in terms of the per-capital GDP in 2022.

Luxemburg topped the list with $125,558, followed by Norway with $106,180, Ireland with $104,237, Switzerland with $91,976 and the United States with $76,360.

Italy placed 20th with $34,109 and Japan came next with $33,864, the data showed.

In 2022, South Korea’s GDP expanded 2.6 percent, compared with 4.1 percent growth the previous year, according to the BOK.

Last year’s growth marked the slowest pace since 2020, and it was attributable to weak global demand amid an economic slowdown and aggressive monetary tightening at home and abroad.

South Korea is struggling to boost exports and shore up advanced industries to maintain its growth momentum.

Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its 2023 economic growth outlook for South Korea to 1.4 percent from its earlier projection of 1.5 percent, citing “persistent challenges” in the global economy.

The South Korean government and the BOK put their growth projections at 1.4 percent.

Source: Yonhap News Agency