An average Ukrainian should spend an estimated UAH 5-7 thousand a month to survive – such was the conclusion reached by experts at a press-conference called ‘Ukrainian consumer basket: live starving and die young?’, which was held in Kiev on September 22.

In the last 7 months, salaries in Ukraine have decreased by 23,7%, whereas real per person income has dropped by 23,5% in the first quarter of 2015. In the last 2 years, Ukrainians have seen their earnings drop by 2 times.

According to Ludmila Cherenko, Head of the Department for Living Standards Study of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, the minimum wage has remained unchanged in 2014-2015 in spite of a sharp increase in prices. In view of the above, some of the items in the consumer basket look oddly out of place.

Alexander Okhrimenko, President of the Ukrainian Analytical Center, believes withdrawing coins from circulation, currently produced at a loss, will help partially improve the economic situation in the country. According to him, it is quite possible to raise the minimum wage and pension to the subsistence minimum of UAH 5,000. Of course, it cannot be achieved overnight or with a one-time effort but raising the minimum wage will help boost the purchasing power of Ukrainians. According to Okhrimenko, Ukrainian economy will take 5 years to improve, while the growth of Ukrainians’ earnings will occur in 2017-2018. He also projected that economic recovery in Ukraine would start in 2020-2023.

Unlike Okhrimenko, Ludmila Cherenko was not that optimistic. According to her, the Ukrainian economy will not recover, but rather stabilize a little in 2017.