PORTUGUESE FAMILY budgets are increasingly being swallowed up by mortgage repayments according to the National Statistics Institute (INE).
Over the past 15 years, the spending profile of the average consumer in Portugal has radically changed with householders spending half of what they used to on food and eating out.
The rush to buy their own house through long-term loans has more than doubled in the last 15 years with monthly mortgage repayments topping the list of worries when working out the family budget.
Between October 2005 and October 2006, the average family spent 26.5 per cent of its budget on housing including household bills for gas, water and electricity.
Fifteen years ago, that figure stood at 12.4 per cent largely because fewer people owned their own homes but rented property instead.
In 1990, food and non-alcoholic drinks accounted for 29.5 per cent of disposable income, falling back to 18.7 per cent in 2000 and 15.5 per cent in 2005/6.
However, a reduction in spending on food and non-alcoholic drinks is the natural process of a society that is becoming more affluent.
The Portuguese are also spending less on clothing and footwear, falling from 6.6 per cent in 2000 to 4.1 per cent of income in 2005/6.
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