Food, petrol and bills: how much they weigh on household spending

Data from the Cgia of Mestre: the obligatory expenses of Italian families continue to increase

The obligatory expenses of Italian families continue to increase. According to an estimate by the CGIA Studies Office referring to 2022, purchases for food/drinks, for transport and for the home were, on the total average monthly expenditure of an Italian family, equal to 59.6 percent. In monetary terms, this means that, compared to an average monthly expenditure of 2,016 euros, 1,202 euros last year were “absorbed” by compulsory purchases: of which 265 euros for petrol-diesel and expenses on public transport; 425 euros for the maintenance of the house and for electricity-gas-condominium expenses bills and, finally, 511 euros for food and soft drinks.

Due to the increase in prices recorded last year, compared to 2021 it is assumed that the incidence of this type of expense has grown by 3.8 percentage points. In short, due to inflation we spend more, we bring home fewer goods and most of the spending – for food, fuel and bills – we do to “live” and to go/return to work. Between 2021 and 2022, in fact, the outlays for obligatory expenses of the average Italian family increased by 171 euros (+16.6 percent).

Otherwise, complementary ones (or marketable consumption) languish. Although in 2022 the average increase in inflation stood at around 8 per cent, in absolute terms the increase in this type of expenditure is estimated to be nil. In other words, explains the CGIA, it is assumed that in the last two years to buy alcohol, clothing/footwear, furniture, leisure, catering, accommodation, education, health, personal care, etc., the average Italian family has spent a month 815 euros. Not only. If organized large-scale distribution and online sales recorded positive results, small-scale commercial and artisanal activities in the sectors just mentioned saw their economic conditions worsen.

The consolidated data by geographical breakdown referring to 2021 show that the incidence of compulsory spending on the total is higher in the South and Islands than in other areas of the country. Obviously, the lower spending capacity of families in the South contributes significantly to the emergence of this result. It should also be noted that starting from 2017, the incidence of compulsory expenditure on the total tends to grow until it reaches the peak estimated for 2022 of 59.6 per cent.

According to the latest data available for 2021, the highest average expenditure at national level is attributable to families residing in the autonomous province of Bolzano (3,116 euros). These are followed by those located in Lombardy (2,904 euros), in the autonomous province of Trento (2,791 euros), in Valle d’Aosta (2,721 euros) and in Lazio (2,712 euros). Sicily (1,992 euros), Calabria (1,915 euros) and Puglia (1,808 euros) close the ranking.

From the breakdown of the three items that make up the obligatory expenses (household, food and transport) it emerges that the sum of consumption for bills (electricity, water, gas, waste, etc.), basic foodstuffs (bread, milk and meat ) and fuels (diesel, petrol, tolls, etc.) amount to over 52 per cent of the average annual compulsory expenditure of the Italian family (equal to 1,202 euros). Bills, for example, are close to 54 percent of the entire cost of housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels. Expenditure on bread, milk and meat, on the other hand, is equal to 50 per cent of total expenditure on food and non-alcoholic beverages. Finally, fuel and tolls amount to 53 per cent of the total expenditure of the Transport item.