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News : Irish Economy Last Updated: Dec 16, 2013 - 6:25 AM


Irish on average poorer than Italians; Irish prices 20% above Germany's
By Michael Hennigan, Finfacts founder and editor
Dec 13, 2013 - 6:31 AM

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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 at 89.

Charts and detail here

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