The poorer the country, the more its citizens spend on their basic needs. According to the EU’s statistical office Eurostat, food expenses in the poorest EU member Romania account for 15% of the country’s GDP, and right after Romania comes Croatia with a share of 14%, which is twice the EU average.
In 2020 Croatians spent seven billion euros for food and non-alcoholic beverages and €6.3 billion for housing, according to Eurostat data. Judging by the situation in other countries, these proportions will vary and the cost of housing is expected to eventually become the highest outlay in Croatia as well, reads an article by journalist Ljubica Gatarić.
The average European family spends one in four euros earned on housing (26%), which includes the rent, while food accounts for 15% of the household budget. In the average Croatian household, food accounts for the largest share of expenses, 21%, but housing costs are dangerously close, accounting for 19% of the household budget.
The retail prices of food and drinks in Croatia are close to the average prices in the EU because Croatia fares increasingly poorly with domestic production and it also has not been very lucky with retail chains which view the country as a profitable market niche where trade margins are very often higher than in western retail chains.
Also, the share of communications costs in Croatian households is much higher than the EU average, 4.8% as against 2.6%.
Generally, the high share of communications costs in household budgets, primarily phone and internet services, is present throughout south and southeast Europe.
Croatian families, for example, spend €1.6 billion annually on communications services, the same as families in Slovakia, which has a population of 5.5 million, says the daily.