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News : EU Economy Last Updated: Jul 17, 2009 - 3:22:42 PM

Denmark, Ireland and Finland were dearest for consumer goods such as food, clothing and electronics in EU in 2008
By Finfacts Team
Jul 16, 2009 - 1:38:32 PM

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Denmark, Ireland and Finland had the highest overall prices of all European Union countries for consumer goods such as food, clothing and electronics , in 2008, the EU statistics agency said Thursday.

Eurostat said widely different taxes on food, alcohol and tobacco across the EU's 27 states account for a massive price gap where Ireland tops the table and Romania is cheapest. Food and nonalcoholic drinks are most expensive in Denmark and cheapest in Bulgaria.


It said the difference for clothing prices is smaller, with Britain being the least costly and Finland the most expensive. Prices for consumer electronics also vary less, it said. Britain is again the cheapest destination for these and Malta the priciest.

Hotels cost the most in Denmark and the least in Bulgaria, Eurostat said.

In 2008, price levels for consumer goods and services differed widely across member countries.

Denmark (141% of the EU27 average) had the highest price level, followed by Ireland (127%) and Finland (125%). Price levels of 10% to 20% above the EU27 average were found in Luxembourg (116% of the EU27 average), Sweden (114%), Belgium and France (both 111%), while Italy and Austria (both 105%), Germany (104%) and the Netherlands (103%) were just above the average.

he United Kingdom (99% of the EU27 average), Spain (96%) and Greece (94%) were just below the average, while Cyprus (90%), Portugal (87%) and Slovenia (83%) were between 10% and 20% below. Price levels between 20% and 30% below the average were observed in Malta (78%), Estonia (77%), Latvia (75%), the Czech Republic (72%), Hungary and Slovakia (both 70%). The lowest price levels were found in Bulgaria (51%), Romania (62%), Lithuania (67%) and Poland (69%).

Eurostat report: Wide spread in consumer prices across Europe in 2008

Highest price level in Denmark and lowest in Bulgaria

Price levels for food and non-alcoholic beverages in 2008 ranged from 67% of the EU27 average in Bulgaria to 147% of the average in Denmark. Among Member States, differences in price levels were smaller for this product group than for total goods and services. For alcoholic beverages and tobacco, prices were lowest in Romania (61% of the average) and highest in Ireland (184%). This large price variation is mainly due to differences in taxation of these products among member countries.

Clothing is one of the groups of products showing the smallest price variation among Member States. The United Kingdom (83% of the average) was cheapest and Finland (123% of the average) was most expensive for clothing.

Consumer electronics is another group of products where prices differed less among member countries. The lowest prices for these products were found in the United Kingdom (86% of the average) and the highest in Malta (126%). Excluding Denmark, price differences among Member States were also limited for personal transport equipment. Price levels varied from 84% of the EU27 average in Romania to 174% of the average in Denmark and 125% in Ireland.

For restaurants and hotels, price variations were more significant, with price levels ranging from 40% of the average in Bulgaria to 151% of the average in Denmark.

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