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Income in view of expenditure

One in four Belarusian families increased its spending power last year, with the number of those on low incomes falling. Meanwhile, many managed to increase their savings
Happily, we’ve begun eating more fruit, fish and meat. In addition, there are now 94 computers per 100 families, according to a National Statistical Committee survey. Over a quarter of families taking part in the poll rated their financial situation positively, compared to 2011. Half of all families feel stable in their financial situation, while 24 percent feel that their financial situation has worsened.

Stability is all
Among those families feeling that their financial situation has improved since 2011, 44 percent connect this with increased salaries; 30 percent mention increased pensions and benefits while 20.5 percent have gained a new or additional source of earnings. Inna Konoshonok, Heads of Statistics in Living Standards and Household Surveys of the National Statistical Committee, notes that 58 percent of families mentioning a worsening in their financial situation comment on significant price rises; meanwhile, 9 percent of this group note that their salary has fallen. A further 9 percent explain that the birth of a child or loss of a breadwinner has affected their income. Finally, 7 percent connect their fall in income with retirement.

Ms. Konoshonok notes that over half of respondents expect to see their level of financial security stay the same while one in ten are more pessimistic. A third believe that their financial situation will improve.

If you want a thing done well, do it yourself
“Today, we’re seeing a significant increase in families’ savings,” says Ms. Konoshonok. “In 2012, deposits and savings rose on 2011 by almost 50 percent, comprising 9.5 percent of people’s income. Interestingly, 61 percent of those polled say their savings are kept in expectation of unexpected future expenditure; 30 percent plan to use their savings for repair or construction of property and 18 percent plan the purchase of consumer goods.”

In addition, the survey found that the number of those with incomes below the cost of living threshold is down on 2011 (6.3 percent compared to 7.3 percent). Last year saw the lowest figures of the last decade for large families being on low-incomes, thanks to the effective implementation of state social programmes.

Curiously, the survey showed that, on finding themselves in a difficult financial situation, low-income families tend to follow certain strategies: a third try to increase their income by all possible means; half reduce their level of spending; just over 6 percent rely on state help; and another 6 percent turn to relatives for financial support.
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