Bulgarians spent 36.2% of their income on food in February 2008, compared to 34.1% a year earlier, data published last week by the National Statistical Institute (NSI) showed.
This trend, which outlines the difficult situation households are in, may be put down to the considerable increase in the prices of agricultural products.
The annual statistics in the last few years showed a certain decline in the share of expenses on food of the total expenditure of households, but it is still strikingly high for an EU member country.
Unfortunately Bulgaria is nowhere near the western countries in this regard. The share of expenses on food in the USA stands at just 7.2% and the figure is similar in the EU countries as well.
In terms of expenses on food Bulgaria rather falls in a group with Vietnam and Egypt where the expenses on food account for over 40% of the total expenditure of households.
The increasing interests on loans are an additional burden for Bulgarians. This results in a considerable decline of the purchasing power and the disposable income of Bulgarians.
Bulgaria saw the biggest growth in lending (62.5%) in 2007 among the EU member countries, a report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows.
Income growth in Bulgaria outpaced inflation last year, official data show. Judging from our wallets and the prices in the stores, however, NSI's statistics is not that convincing.
Inflation rate stood at 12.5% last year, statistical data show. Nevertheless, the prices of food products such as oil and cheese went up more than two-fold, while gasoline and diesel prices grew by over 50%.
For the first time in 2007 the household income in real terms exceeded by 2.0% the levels recorded in 1995, NSI data showed. And we are supposed to take a pride in this? This means that we have been marking time for the last 12 years.
|Expenditure groups||Feb 2007||Feb 2008|
|Consumer monetary expenditure||86.4||87.1|
|Foods and non-alcoholic beverages||34.1||36.2|
|Alcoholic beverages and tobacco||4.9||4.2|
|Clothing and footwear||2.6||2.8|
|Housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels||15||16.6|
|Furnishing and maintenance of the house||3.7||3.1|
|Recreation, culture and education||3.8||3.2|
|Miscellaneous goods and services||3.9||3.7|
*data by NSI