Fabian Demicoli

Price levels for consumer goods and services varied in 2011

Malta’s prices lower than other 18 EU Member States and 20% lower than average –
In 2011, price levels for consumer goods and services differed widely across Member States, the EUI average being 51%. Denmark (142% of the EU27 average) had the highest price level, followed by Sweden (128%), Finland (125%) and Luxembourg (122%). Price levels of 10% to 20% above the EU27 average were found in Ireland (117%), Belgium (112%) and France (111%), while the Netherlands (108%), Austria (107%), Germany and Italy (both 103%) and the United Kingdom (102%) had levels up to 10% above the average.

Spain (97% of the EU27 average) and Greece (95%) were just below the
average, while Cyprus (89%), Portugal (87%) and Slovenia (84%) were
between 10% and 20% below. Price levels between 20% and 30% below the
average were observed in Estonia (79%), Malta (78%), the Czech Republic
(77%), Latvia (74%) and Slovakia (72%), and levels between 30% and 40%
below in Lithuania (66%), Hungary (64%), Poland and Romania (both 60%).

The
lowest price levels were found in Bulgaria (51%).
Food price levels varied by one to two across the Member States
Price levels for food and non-alcoholic beverages in 2011 ranged from
67% of the EU27 average in Bulgaria to 136% of the average in Denmark.
Differences in price levels between Member States were less for this
product group than for total goods and services.

For alcoholic beverages
and tobacco, prices were lowest in Hungary (63% of the average) and
highest in Ireland (163%). This large price variation is mainly due to
differences in taxation of these products among Member States.

Clothing is one of the groups of products showing a smaller price
variation among Member States, with Bulgaria (75% of the average)
cheapest and Sweden (133%) most expensive. Consumer electronics6 is
another group of products where prices differed less among Member
States, ranging from 89% of the average in Poland to 125% in Malta.
Excluding Denmark (167% of the average), price differences among Member
States were also limited for personal transport equipment, with levels
varying from 83% of the average in Bulgaria to 122% in Portugal.
For restaurants and hotels, price variations were more significant, with
price levels ranging from 45% of the average in Bulgaria to 154% of the
average in Denmark.

A fuller report is available at:
http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/2-22062012-AP/EN/2-22062012-AP-EN.PDF

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