N. Korea's per-capita GDP grows 4.8 pct in 2013: report
SEOUL, March 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's per-capita gross domestic product (GDP) rose 4.8 percent on-year in 2013 from an improved grain harvest and expanded investment in the mining, utility and other segments, a report showed Sunday.
The North's per-capita GDP for last year is estimated at US$854, up $39 from a year earlier, according to the report released by the Hyundai Research Institute (HRI), a South Korean private think tank.
The North's 2013 per-capita GDP amounts to a mere 3.6 percent of South Korea's per-capita GDP of $23,838 for the same year, it said
North Korea's grain production improved on the back of favorable weather conditions, while the country also expanded its investment in various industrial sectors, the report said.
The communist state's grain production is estimated to have grown some 5 percent last year from a year earlier. The country saw an 8.5 percent on-year rise and 10 percent gain in its grain production, respectively, in 2011 and 2012.
Also, the reclusive nation increased its budget spending for railroads, metal and power generation sectors, which contributed in boosting its economy, the report showed.
Trade between North Korea and its strongest ally China jumped 10.4 percent on-year to reach $6.5 billion last year, while inter-Korean trade sank 42 percent to $1.1 billion due to a five-month halt of an jointly run industrial park.
The 2013 inter-Korean trade figure is the lowest since 2005 when the comparable figure was $1.06 billion.
The Kaesong Industrial Complex was shut down in early April 2013 after the North unilaterally pulled out all of its workers at 123 South Korean firms. It reopened in September after Pyongyang agreed not to repeat such a suspension.
Assistance from the international community to the North also dropped 47 percent on-year to reach $63.1 million last year, the report said.