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Business News of Sunday, 4 June 1995

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Ghanaians spend 150 per cent more than they earn - How do they do it?

GHANAIANS spend one-and-half times more than they earn annually, the 1992 Ghana Living Standards Surveys Report (GLSS 3), has shown.

The 186-page report, released in Accra on Wednesday, by Daasebre Dr. Oti Boateng, Government Statistician, shows that the average Ghanaian house-hold spends C78,000 but earns C480.000 annually. The difference is made up by undeclared incomes by respondents to the surveys conducted by the Ghana Statistical Service.

"They don't tell us all that they earn", an official of the service told the GNA in Accra. "More than half (58 per cent of the expenditure is on food while 39 per cent represents other non-food expenditure.

"The remaining three per cent is accounted for almost equally by remittance and housing costs", Dr Boateng said of the report which covers September 1991 to September 1992.

The report, the third since the first was compiled in 1988, covers a variety of socio-economic topics including those in education, health, employment, and demographic characteristic of the population. Giving a break-down of house-hold (cash) expenditure, Dr Boateng said about 51 per cent went into food, nine per cent into clothing and footwear, and a similar amount on housing and utilities.

"Seven per cent os spent on household goods, operations and services, six per cent on transport and communications, five per cent on recreation and education and four per cent on medial care and health expenses. Three per cent of the cash expenditure goes into alcohol and tobacco while five per is taken up by miscellaneous goods and services. GLSS 3 shows that the per capita income of urban dwellers is almost 40 per cent higher than those in the rural areas.