Brazilians spend more on transportation than on food

RIO DE JANEIRO (Xinhua) – For the first time, Brazilians are spending more on transportation than on food, according to a study published by Brazilian official statistics agency IBGE last Friday.

Aside from housing bills, food used to be the largest expense for Brazilian families, but the latest study found citizens spend an average 19.6 per cent of their budget on transportation and 17.5 per cent on food.

Housing expenses, such as paying rent and mortgages, make up an average 36.6 per cent of all consumption in the country, the study shows.

IBGE representative Andre Martins observed that transportation costs are less flexible as transport fares are fixed, while one can reduce food costs at least to some extent.

“When it comes to food, a person can make different choices and change one product for another. On transportation, there is no room for choice,” he said.

Despite transportation costs surpassing food, IBGE said that for poor families food prices and housing costs still hold a greater share of household budgets.

A Brazilian reads announcements of job offers in downtown Sao Paulo, Brazil. PHOTO: AFP