Eurostat claims a third of Albanians live only for food

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 16, 2019 16:49

Eurostat claims a third of Albanians live only for food

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  • According to the report’s data the nominal spendings in Albania were 31 percent of the GDP. In absolute values an Albanian spends annually on food an amount of 1248 euros.

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TIRANA, March 12- Data from the European Institute of Statistics, Eurostat, claim that citizens of Albania and Kosovo are the ones in Europe to spend more on food comparing to what their annual economic production. Eurostat has issued a report on the nominal expenses as a GDP percentage for 2017.

According to the report’s data the nominal spendings in Albania were 31 percent of the GDP. In the last two years the report has started to include Kosovo as well. Kosovo has has a slightly lower mark at 29.2 percent. If non-alcoholic beverages get included in the index, Kosovo jumps to first place with a 34.1 percent spendings per GDP, whereas Albania’s pointer increases slightly at 31.9 percent.

The expenses on foods in ratio to the annual income in the Balkan countries are quite higher than the EU countries means. The EU average stands at 6 percent, with Romania being in first place with 15.8 percent of its GDP. Then the lowest ones are in Ireland with 2.7 percent and Luxemburg with 2.6 percent of their GDPs.

Albanians and Kosovars spend most of their money on food and beverages even when comparing to the rest of the region. In Serbia the index lies at 15.6 percent of the country’s GDP, whereas higher figures resulted in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro with spendings amounting to 23-24 percent of their GDPs. For candidates and potential candidates for EU excluding Kosovo and Turkey, the mean lied at 19.7 percent.

In absolute values an Albanian spends annually on food an amount of 1248 euros. The average spendings of an EU citizen on food amount to 1800 euros a year. However, Albania’s income per capita is only as much as 30 percent of the EU average.

In another report Eurostat counts the expenses on bread and grains. In Albania the spendings on this directive were 4.9 percent of the country’s GDP, which is again the highest in Europe, followed by Bosnia-Herzegovina with 3.1 percent. This high consumption of bread and doughs indicates the poverty and the low income provided by a country which is forced to buy expensive groceries because a great number of them are imported. This is especially ironic since Albania has the largest agricultural weight in Europe with 18-20 percent of its GDP, comparing to Asia and Europe with a 2 percent mean, and Northern Macedonia with 8 percent.

Only after a family meets the basic needs to feed themselves can they start thinking of the rest of expenses, with traveling, entertainment and luxuries being the last in their lists. The data from Eurostat shows that Albanians don’t only spend the most of their money in bread, but that this value is higher than 10 years ago. According to the earliest data from the Albanian Institute of Statistics INSTAT which date in 2008, Albanians would spend 4.4 percent of their GDP on bread in that year, reaching a 4.9 percent on 2017.

In absolute values in 2017 the average spendings of an Albanian in bread and grains amounted to 198 euros a year, one of the historical highs for the region. Even though the developed countries spend more money in absolute values, this comes because these products there are pricier but also because their income is much higher than those of an average Albanian citizen. Following the purchasing power parity method with a reference value of 1, in Albani the PPP is 1:90, which is the highest in Europe. The purchasing power parity represents the cost of living in a country. It is measured by finding the values of a basket of consumer goods that are present in each country (such as bread, rice, etc.). If  for example that basket costs 100 euros in a EU country and 200 euros in Albania, then the purchasing power parity exchange rate is 1:2. Even if a country has a higher GDP per capita (individual income), that country’s people may still live poorer if the cost of living is higher.

 

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times March 16, 2019 16:49