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Friday, November 16, 2007

Ukraine First Only to Moldova in Purchasing Power, German Study of European Countries Says

More on cabbage. Ukrayinska Pravda cites a Deutsche Welle report on a study of European purchasing power by MB Research International, the Nuremberg-based consultancy.

As expected, Ukraine lags behind most of Europe, and quite significantly so. Ukraine’s per capita disposable income stands at
1,487. It appears that this year’s study is either available in German only or on a subscription basis. However, there’s an English quote from last year’s study that sheds more light on Ukraine’s standing:

MB-Research’s newly released survey of over 1,500 European regions shows that Switzerland’s tax haven Zug and the country’s business and financial center Zurich, as well as London’s preferred residential quarter Inner London-West, are first in per capita terms with over EUR 30,000 annually. The average disposable daily income of these exceeds the monthly income in most of Ukraine, the most impoverished regions of southeast Turkey, southern Russia, Albania, in Kosovo and in Moldavia.

Western tourists who drool at the sight of all the Maybachs, Bentleys, and Jaguars cruising the streets of Kyiv will be puzzled by this report. Well, that’s the soul of stabilnist in terms of social stratification. Thanks to stabilnist, most Ukrainians are indeed “cabbage creatures,” big time.

The GfK Group, another German-based market research organization, released its GfK Purchasing Power Europe study on Nov. 13.

Interestingly enough, GfK gives the same figure — €1,487 — for Ukraine’s per capita disposable income. (Perhaps the Ukrayinska Pravda/Deutsche Welle report combined both MB Research International and GfK data.) Here's what GfK says about Ukraine in an overview of its survey:

For example, since last year purchasing power in the Ukraine [sic] has increased by approximately 26%, more than in any other country. In 2007, Ukrainians have around 300 euros more disposable income than in 2006.

Well, that’s music to Azarov’s ears, but hardly a quantum leap in Ukrainians’ pockets.

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