All this talk about a few leva here and there gets away from the fact that the average Bulgarian is the poorest in Europe and that takes into account wages and pensions. They live on a shoestring and this winter it will get worse. There is no end in sight of poverty in Bulgaria but we never complain, we just get on with things the best we can.
After they tightened their belts in the winter months, Bulgarian consumers saw incomes glide up between April and July but this was coupled with heftier expenses, showed figures of the statistical office.
The National Statistical Institute (NSI) estimated that the median income per household member amounted to 321.85 leva in July, which represents a 16 leva increase from the previous month. But the rise was offset by an identical increase in expenses, which soared to 289 leva.
Compared with the year-ago period, salaries surged by 10.5 per cent thanks to fatter pay packages in the public sector and a rise in pensions.
Extending a trend that started at the beginning of 2009, wages and pensions sliced off a larger share of 78.8 per cent from the household budget. At the same time, the income of the self-employed suffered a steeper decline.
More than half of household spending went to food, non-alcoholic beverages, electricity and water bills and fuels. Families slashed further costs for transport and communication as well as clothing and shoes but spent more on alcohol and cigarettes.