Government data show that more than half of the households in the lowest income bracket ran a deficit in the third quarter due to a resurgence of COVID-19 cases.
According to data by Statistics Korea on Sunday, 50-point-nine percent of the bottom 20 percent of households spent more than they earned during the July-September period. It is the first time the ratio for the third quarter topped 50 percent since 2013.
The bottom 20 percent of households earned one-point-637 million won a month during the cited period, down one-point-one percent from a year earlier.
Their monthly earned income, which takes up 65 percent of their total income, plunged by ten-point-seven percent on-year to 553-thousand won on average.
Their business income, which accounts for 19 percent of their total income, also slipped eight-point-one percent on-year to 276-thousand won.
The earned income and business income of the bottom 20 percent both declined around ten percent due to reduced consumption after the second wave of the coronavirus in mid-August.