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ISSUE 76 page 9

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stats & facts

 

Levels of individual consumption highest in north-west Europe

Actual Individual Consumption (AIC) is a method of measuring wealth that seeks to do a better job than the usual GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in evaluating the material well-being of households. The E.U.’s statistical arm Eurostat has recently released figures showing the enormous differences between Member States in the wealth of their citizens. Taking the whole of the European Union as 100, Luxembourg’s AIC is 137 whereas Bulgaria records 51. Germany was nearly 25% in excess of the E.U. average while Austria, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Finland, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Sweden are all between 10% and 20% above the norm. The countries of south and east Europe fared worst with Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovenia between 20% and 30% below the average and Estonia, Latvia and Hungary between 30% and 40% below. Just above last-placed Bulgaria were Croatia and Romania lagging by at least 40%.

EUConsumpChart

Danes pay double what Poles do for food and drink

The latest statistics (for last year) from Eurostat show that there are still wide discrepancies between countries in the prices paid for food and drink. The figures also show that the newer, eastern European Member States are still generally cheapest for the consumer. The basket of 440 products, whose prices have been harmonised to allow for currency fluctuations outside the euro zone, costs 145% of the EU average in Denmark but only 63% in Poland. Alcoholic drinks are two and a half times more expensive in Ireland than in Bulgaria which is also the place to go for tobacco where it retails at 50% of the EU average compared to over four times that in the priciest country, the U.K., at 218%. Perhaps surprisingly milk, cheese and eggs producer Ireland is the third most expensive country in which to buy these products behind Greece and Cyprus.

Type of product
Most expensive three
Cheapest three
Food & non-alcoholic beverages
1
Denmark
26
Bulgaria
2
Sweden
27
Romania
3
Austria
28
Poland
 
Alcoholic beverages
1
Ireland
26
Hungary
2
Finland
27
Romania
3
United Kingdom
28
Bulgaria
 
Tobacco
1
United Kingdom
26=
Croatia/Lithuania
2
Ireland
3
France
28
Bulgaria
 
Bread & cereals
1
Denmark
26
Poland
2
Austria
27
Bulgaria
3
Sweden
28
Romania
 
Meat
1
Denmark
26
Romania
2
Austria
27
Bulgaria
3=
Luxembourg/Sweden
28
Poland
 
Milk,cheese & eggs
1
Cyprus
26
Lithuania
2
Greece
27
Czech Republic
3
Ireland
28
Poland

 




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