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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Food and Energy Costs

From Daniel Carroll, via Mark Thoma, via James Hamilton, a deep insight into how headline inflation affects the life styles of the poor and obscure.

Food at Home as a share of Income:

Bottom quintile -- 23.5%
Top quintile      --  3.9%

Energy Expenditures as a share of Income:

Bottom quintile -- 20.6%
Top quintile      --  3.9%

The bottom quitile spends 44.1% of income on subsistence.  And this doesn't include housing.  Or clothing. 

Sucks to be them, doesn't it.

1 comment:

BadTux said...

Indeed. I'm in the fourth quintile. Energy price inflation basically has no (zero) effect upon my lifestyle. So it's gone from $40 to $80 to fill up a tank of gas? I.e., I've gone from $80 a month to $160 a month for gas? And my home heating bill was $160 last month? Bummer. Still less than 5% of my income. Not a problem -- for me.

For the person grossing $1600/month at barely above minimum wage, though (who probably takes home about $1280/month), that's a huge hit. That's 15% of his take-home pay just to heat his house and drive to and from work everyday, nevermind all other energy uses (cooking, lighting, etc.). But hey, it doesn't affect the top 1%, so it's not a problem, right?

- Badtux the Cynical Penguin