Food and housing costs, including spending on heating and water, absorb the lion’s share of Greek households’ income, Eurostat figures revealed on Tuesday.
Food accounted for 16.9 percent of household spending last year, compared with an average rate of 12.2 percent across the European Union. The Greek rate is closer to the poorest countries in the bloc, in Eastern Europe. This serves to highlight the reduction of Greek households’ disposable income that has seen them covering their basic needs at the expense of other categories. In 2008 the Greek rate had stood at 15.1 percent.
The biggest category of expenses for Greek households is housing, which in 2017 accounted for 19.8 percent of all spending. However, thanks to the low rental rates in Greece, the housing expenditure category trails the European Union average of 24.2 percent.
A remarkable 15.4 percent of household spending went to hotels and restaurants, placing Greece fourth among all EU states. This rate has increased from 12.8 percent in 2008 because the value-added tax rates in both food service and hotel accommodation have soared over the course of the last decade.