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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Sep 5, 2013 - 12:35 PM


Ireland's Actual Individual Consumption per capita below EU average in 2012
By Finfacts Team
Jun 21, 2013 - 2:06 AM

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The Eurozone (EA17) consists of Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland. >

Based on first preliminary estimates for 2012, gross domestic product (GDP) per capita expressed in Purchasing Power Standards (PPS) varied from 47% to 271% of the EU27 average across the member states. While Ireland was 30% above the EU average for GDP per capita, a more credible metric that is not distorted by the foreign multinational sector, is Actual Individual Consumption (AIC) per capita and Ireland is below the average at a similar level to Italy.

The highest level of GDP per capita in the EU27 was recorded in Luxembourg (part of its working population lives beyond its borders) with a level of more than two and a half times the EU27 average. Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden were around 30% above the average. Denmark, Germany, Belgium and Finland were between 15% and 25% above the average, while the United Kingdom and France were around 10% above.

In Italy and Spain, GDP per capita was just below the EU27 average. Cyprus was around 10% below the average, while Malta, Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Greece and Portugal were between nearly 15% and 25% lower. Lithuania, Estonia, Poland, Hungary and Latvia were between 30% and 40% lower than the average, while Romania and Bulgaria were more than 50% below the average.

These figures for GDP per capita, expressed in PPS, are published by Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Union. They cover the 27 EU Member States, three EFTA countries, one acceding state, four candidate countries and two potential candidate countries.

Ireland: GDP or GNP? Which is the better measure of economic performance?

Actual Individual Consumption per capita in the member states ranged from 48% to 141% of the EU27 average

While GDP per capita is often used as an indicator of countries' level of welfare, it is not the only such indicator. An alternative welfare indicator, better adapted to reflect the situation of households, is Actual Individual Consumption (AIC) per capita.

Generally, levels of AIC per capita are more homogeneous than those of GDP but still there are substantial differences between the member states. In 2012, AIC per capita expressed in PPS ranged between 48% of the EU average in Romania to 141% in Luxembourg.

Eurostat says the Purchasing Power Standard (PPS) is an artificial currency unit that eliminates price level differences between countries. Thus one PPS buys the same volume of goods and services in all countries. This unit allows meaningful volume comparisons of economic indicators across countries.

Actual individual consumption consists of goods and services actually consumed by individuals, irrespective of whether these goods and services are purchased and paid for by households, by government, or by non-profit institutions. In international volume comparisons, AIC is often seen as the preferable measure, since it is not influenced by the fact that the organisation of certain important services consumed by households, like health and education services, differs a lot across countries.

More information here.

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