The minimum consumer basket value hasn’t been revised for over a decade. It is theoretical and doesn’t reflect changes in living standards
The latest data presented by the Armenian National Statistical Service shows that Armenians are spending more on meat than on bread when purchasing foodstuffs. According to the data, 23.8% of the minimal consumer basket is spent on meat and 22% on bread.
However, according to experts, it doesn’t mean that people are consuming more meat. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. Hayk Balanyan, an economist explains that meat accounts for the bigger share in the minimal consumer basket because it is more expensive than bread:
“Armenia’s minimal consumer basket totals AMD 55 000 (USD 115). One can’t spend AMD 13 000 (USD 27) of that amount on meat on a monthly basis. Therefore, people buy more bread and some vegetables.”
He further said that a certain portion of that amount is allocated for covering utility service costs and transport expenses, which makes quite a substantial sum.
Armenian economists believe that the minimal consumer basket value needs to be revised. The last time it was calculated was over a decade ago.
“Our country’s minimal consumer basket is purely theoretical. It should reflect actual changes in living standards. It’s therefore necessary to bring its components closer to the average actual indices,” says Smbat Grigoryan, an expert.
According to Hayk Balanyan, the value of the minimal consumer basket should be doubled. However, the economist believes that the authorities are unlikely to resort to such a measure as they will have to increase pensions and salaries.