Consumer spending in Spain

Spanish households second largest spenders on food and housing in Eurozone

Families living in Spain spent around 55.3% of their household budget on food and housing in 2005.

According to a survey published today by Eurostat for 2005 this percentage is the second highest after Italian households which spent around 55.8% on food and housing. Given that prices for both food and housing have risen steeply since 2005 and disproportionately compared to disposable income it is possible that these percentages have risen even more.

Specifically, Spanish households spent 35% of their income on housing and 20.3% on food, drink and tobacco in 2005. Other expenses were clothes and footwear (6.9%), health (2.2%), transport (10.5%), communications (2.7%), leisure and culture (6.4%), education (1.1%) and restaurants and hotels (9.3%).

The results of the 2005 survey also found that the Spanish were the second largest spenders on restaurants and cafes (8.4%) which is second only to the Portuguese (9.

6%). Both these figures are far higher than the average for the rest of the EU states which spent on average just 3.9% of their income on restaurants and cafes.

As far as consumption of alcoholic drinks is concerned only Cypriots (0.5%) and Greeks (0.6%) spent less than the Spanish (0.7%) on drink. The average amount of income for the whole of the EU spent on alcohol was found to be quite a lot higher at 1.2% although some countries, such as Ireland (4.1%), Rumania (2.3%) and Lithuania (2.2%) spent a much higher proportion of their incomes on alcohol.

According to figures for the survey Rumania topped the list for the percentage of income spent on food and housing at 69.4% followed closely by the Polish and Bulgaria which spent 64% and 63% of their incomes on this. The survey discovered that those countries with lower incomes spent a higher proportion of their incomes (60%) on food and housing than those countries with higher incomes which spent on average 45%.

Statistics from the Eurostat survey for 2005 show that the burden of food and housing expenses was lower for households with higher incomes although these tended to spend more on transport, leisure and culture and hotels and restaurants.