One of the best indicators of how much we are economically lagging behind the developed countries in Europe is how much money we give on food.
In Serbia, of the total amount of money spent on personal consumption, 34.5% is spent on food and non-alcoholic beverages, while in the EU, this percentage stands at only 12.2%. EU citizens spend most money (a quarter of their monthly earnings) on housing, gas, electricity and water, while their Serbian counterparts spend 17.1% to cover those expenses. At least this was the case last year, when according to the latest data compiled by the State Statistics Office, each household in our country spent 62.275 dinars a month on average.
In 2017, according to the same data, besides food, housing and electricity, Serbian citizens spent 8.9% of their family budgets on transport, clothing and footwear, 5.3% on communications, just under 5.2% on recreation and culture, and 4.7% on alcoholic beverages and tobacco.
According to the latest Eurostat data for 2016, the EU citizens spent as much as 24.5 percent of the total family budget on housing, electricity, gas and water, 12.9 percent on transport, and only 12.2 percent on food and non-alcoholic beverages. They also spent 11.5 percent on various personal items and services 8.6 percent on dining in restaurants and hotel accommodation, and 8.5 percent on recreation and culture. Furniture and equipment took up 5.5 percent of their money, clothing and footwear 4.6 percent, and 3.9 percent went for alcoholic drinks and health. The EU citizens spend the least amount of money on communication (2.5) and education (1.2).
Considering the amount we spend on education, we are close to the European average, but we do differe in two major expenditures – food, on one hand, and electricity, water and housing, on the other.
In the last five years, the cost of electricity, housing, gas and water oscillated very little in Serbia. In the same period, an average of 16.6 percent (2015) and 17.1 percent (2014 and 2017) of the family budget was spent on these items.
However, judging by the EU countries, higher electricity prices and less spending on food will demonstrate that our country is making progress, that is, that the living standard is growing.
In the rest of the world, the people from Cameroon spend most money on food – 40% of their budget, followed by Pakistan and Algeria. In Europe, it is the Greeks that spend the most on food (16%), followed by the French (13.2%), the Italians (14.2%) and the Germans (10.9%). In the UK, food takes up on average 9.1% of the home budget.
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