It appears average Koreans are feeling the pinch with stagnating salaries and mounting personal debt.
Statistics Korea says the average monthly income of Korean households last year only edged up zero.six percent from the previous year to around three,nine-hundred U.S. dollars.
That's the lowest yearly growth tallied since related data was first compiled in 2003.
The level of household debt level grew at a faster rate,.. approaching one.two trillion U.S. dollars as of the end of last year, a figure equal to more than 91 percent of Korea's GDP.
The ratio to GDP surged four.six percentage points in just a year.
Adding to worries is the U.S. Federal Reserve's plans to continue raising rates, which could hike borrowing costs for vulnerable households already struggling to make ends meet.