If there is a segment directly hit by a real decline in revenue over the past year, it’s the Costa Rican middle class.
The families that make up the third quintile of the population, those households where the average per capita income is ₡717 thousand per month according to the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC), have lost the equivalent of ₡9,866 of their income in real terms between 2018 and 2019.
This means that, without counting aspects such as inflation, instead of earning more, middle-class families rather earn less than last year. A year ago the average income was about ₡726 thousand.
The second most hit segment is that of the upper to upper middle class, those that make up the fourth income quintile, equivalent to ₡ 1.1 million per month.
This loss of purchasing power contrasts with the benefit that the lower classes have obtained, where the first quintile rather increased the spending capacity by more than ₡ 10 thousand per month.
The figures, presented on Wednesday by the Economic and Social Observatory of the National University (UNA) reveal an unbalanced growth in income that, although it allowed to reduce slightly the poverty figures by benefiting the lowest quintile, directly affects the consumption capacity of the rest of Costa Ricans, and therefore ends up affecting the national economy.
In this tier, the loss of purchasing power reached ₡ 9,585.
In general terms for all households, real income based on inflation figures for June 2010 has fallen from ₡ 862,974 to ₡ 787,977.
This largely explains the problems that the country has to boost the economy, especially related to consumption.