The increased level of consumer spending, which totaled NT$7.07 trillion (US$214.89 billion) last year, reflects improvements in people's quality of life, the Cabinet's statistics agency said yesterday.
The Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics (DGBAS) said that consumer spending increased 2.2 percent year-on-year.
An in-depth analysis of consumer spending over the past decade shows that the percentage of spending on basic necessities -- such as food, water, shelter and clothing -- has declined steadily. Conversely, spending on entertainment and education has been on an upward spiral -- a trend that points to higher standards of living following increases in the nation's per-capita income, DGBAS officials said.
Last year, spending on food continued to represent the lion's share of overall consumer spending at 23.6 percent, but the figure marked a decline of 0.5 percentage points over that of a decade earlier.
Rent and water bills accounted for 14.6 percent of total consumer spending, down 2.8 percentage points from the level registered a decade ago, DGBAS officials said, adding that the percentage of spending on clothing also dropped 0.9 percentage points to a mere 3.7 percent of total spending.
In contrast, the ratio of spending on travel, entertainment, recreation, education and cultural services increased by 1.9 percentage points to reach 18.7 percent of total spending, the officials said.
As life expectancy has risen steadily over the past decade, medical and health care bills have also spiked, with the ratio surging 1.5 percentage points to reach 9.1 percent of total household spending last year.
The prevalence of mobile phone and Internet services has driven up the ratio of spending on transportation and communications to 11.9 percent, or 0.8 percentage points higher than the figure a decade ago, the officials said.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”