In 2013 Irish prices for consumer goods and services were 18% above the European Union (EU) average despite Ireland being the only member country to have experienced a fall in prices in the period 2008-2012.
Prices differed widely across member states. Denmark (140% of the EU28 average) had the highest price level, followed by Sweden (130%), Luxembourg and Finland (both 123%). Price levels of 10% to 20% above the EU28 average were found in Ireland (118%), the United Kingdom (114%) and the Netherlands (110%), while Belgium and France (both 109%), Austria (107%), Italy (103%) and Germany (102%) had levels less than 10% above the average.
Spain (95%) was just below the EU28 average, while Greece (89%), Cyprus and Portugal (both 86%), Slovenia (83%), Estonia and Malta (both 80%) were between 10% and 20% below. Price levels at around 30% to 35% below the average were observed in the Czech Republic, Latvia and Slovakia (all 71%), Croatia (68%) and Lithuania (65%), and levels at around 40% below in Hungary (60%), Poland and Romania (both 57%). The lowest price level was found in Bulgaria (48%).
These data come from an analysis published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Food price levels varied from 62% to 140% of the EU28 average: Price levels for food and non-alcoholic beverages in 2013 ranged from 62% of the EU28 average in Poland to 140% of the average in Denmark. Differences in price levels between member states were less pronounced for this product group than for the total of goods and services. For alcoholic beverages and tobacco, prices were lowest in Bulgaria (59% of the average) and highest in Ireland (178%). 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 Hungary (75% of the average) cheapest and Sweden (130%) most expensive. Consumer electronics is another group of products where prices differed less among member states, ranging from 86% of the average in Poland to 113% in Denmark, Cyprus and Malta.
With the exception of Denmark (155% of the average), price differences among member states were also limited for personal transport equipment, with levels varying from 81% of the average in the Czech Republic to 117% in the Netherlands.
For restaurants and hotels, price variations were more significant, with price levels ranging from 47% of the average in Bulgaria to 149% of the average in Denmark.
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