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More than half of the money in the Ukrainian private economy goes to buy food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Almost half of the household income in Ukraine is spent on food and non-alcoholic beverages, the Kyiv Post writes based on a compilation of statistics gathered by State Statistic Service.

41 percent of the income, the Kyiv Post writes, was spent on food and drinks in 2020 (mostly vegetables, bread and dairy), which is equivalent to about 45 billion dollars. Around 8 percent was spent on cigarettes and tobacco.

Ukrainians do not eat out much as a general rule. Only 2.6 percent of the household budgets went to visiting hotels or restaurants in 2020, but 3.4 percent still went to cultural activities and travel.

Utility bills is the second-highest expense around 14% out of the budgets, followed by transportation (8.6%), health care (6.1%), clothes and shoes (4.7%), household goods (3.8%).

Numbers make sense

For anyone who ever read a similar report from a Scandinavian country, spending almost 50 percent of the household budget on food, beverage and cigarettes seem like a skewed balance. Secondly, it might seem far of because of the low prices in Ukraine.

But an expert cited by Kyiv Post, Yurii Sholomytskyi, head of the center for macroeconomics at the Kyiv School of Economics, says that it is quite common for low and middle income countries.

“Our shopping basket is typical… when people have enough core budget for food, but there’s limited money for other services and goods,” Sholomytskyi told the Kyiv Post.