Prices. Market basket
In 2011, the government controlled the growth of prices for socially important goods; import prices grew faster. This year’s trend is completely different as the prices regulated by the government are increasing more rapidly.
A typical characteristic for all regions is a stable increase in food prices. Thus, over the last month in Gomel region, wheat flower prices have increased by 4%, oil and butter by 3.5% and 2.9% respectively, cheese by 2.8%, and prices for dairy products by 2.6%. Judging by the dynamics of prices in Belarus, it could be said that since the beginning of the year, prices for dairy products, meat, meat products and bread have been growing the most rapidly.
Another poignant trend from this year is that prices for services have been increasing faster than prices for goods. Together with the anticipated increase in payments for the utilities (increase in heating and electricity tariffs for households in winter period), it will contribute to greater social inequality as well as to the impoverishment of the most vulnerable social groups.
Cross-border trade in the western regions of the country is growing, butis not on such a large scale in the Mogilev and Vitebsk regions on a household level. Cross-border trade in eastern regions has significantly reduced compared to 2011. According to independent experts, the average cost of the food basket in September amounted to BYR 234,320. In the second quarter of 2012, consumer expenditures per household amounted to BYR 3 353.5 thousand per month.
From August 1 to October 31, the average per capita minimum consumer budget for a family of four amounts to BYR 1.332.100 per month. The minimum subsistence budget per capita is BYR 843.870 per month. It should be noted that the size of consumer basket varies for different categories of people.
The main expenditures of the average per capita minimum consumer budget for a family of four in terms of prices of June 2012 are as following: food is 59.2%, clothes and shoes - 20.3%,payment for housing and utilities - 7%, services and transport - 5% , personal hygiene - 2.5%, medicines, fees and other charges -1.4%, household goods - 4.6%. Obviously, payments for utilities will significantly increase in October because of the beginning of the heating season and will account for about 10% of all expenditures.