In terms of volume of Actual Individual
Consumption (AIC) per capita, the Irish on average fell below the Italians in
2012 while prices in Ireland were 20% above Germany's level.
Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, says that
while gross domestic product (GDP) per capita is mainly an indicator of the
level of economic activity, Actual Individual Consumption (AIC) per capita is an
alternative indicator better adapted to describe the material welfare of
households - - it 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 organisations. In
international volume comparisons of consumption, 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. AIC is listed among the
recommendations of the
Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi report [pdf].
Eurostat says purchasing power parity (PPPs)
currency conversion rates are applied in order to convert economic indicators
from national currency to an artificial common currency, called the Purchasing
Power Standard (PPS), which equalises the purchasing power of different national
currencies and enables meaningful volume comparisons between countries.
Ireland had an AIC per capita of 98 in 2012
compared with the EU28 average of 100 and a Eurozone (EA17) level of 107. Italy
was at the EU28 average.
In the EU28, Germany had an AIC of 123, Austria
was at 120, Sweden 117, Finland 116, UK and France at 114, Spain at 92 and
Greece at 85.
In GDP per capita rankings, Luxembourg should be
ignored as part of its workforce lives outside the country.
Austria at 130 is followed by Ireland at 129,
Netherlands at 128, Germany at 123, Italy at 101, Spain at 96 and Greece at 75.
Ireland: GDP or GNP? Which is the better measure of economic
performance? - - both metrics are distorted by the
foreign and Irish-owned multinational sectors. There are 16 Irish companies
listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market and most of them are American.
Denmark has the highest price level among the
member states, 45 % above the EU28 average of 100 while Ireland's level is 20%
above the EU28 average and Germany's level. Spain is at 94 and Greece is
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