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Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Consumer price levels in 2020

In 2020, price levels for consumer goods and services differed widely across the EU Member States.

Denmark (141% of the EU average) had the highest price level, followed by Ireland and Luxembourg (both 136%), Sweden (130%) and Finland (126%), while the lowest price levels were found in Romania (55%), Bulgaria (56%) and Poland (58%). Overall, price levels for consumer goods and services in the EU varied by almost one to three between the cheapest and the most expensive Member State.

This information comes from data on price levels for consumer goods and services published by Eurostat. The article presents a handful of findings from the more detailed Statistics Explained article.

Widest gap for restaurants & hotels and for alcohol & tobacco

In 2020, the price level for restaurants & hotels was three times as high in the most expensive country as in the cheapest one. Price levels ranged from 46% of the EU average in Bulgaria, followed by Romania (53%) and Hungary (56%), to 154% of the average in Denmark, ahead of Sweden (138%) and Finland (131%).

Alcohol & tobacco ranked second in terms of price level difference, with the lowest price levels registered in Bulgaria (61%), Hungary (69%) and Poland (70%), and the highest in Ireland (187% of the EU average), followed at a distance by Finland (158%), Sweden (136%) and France (133%). This large price variation is mainly due to differences in taxation of these products among Member States.

Food & non-alcoholic beverages were cheapest in Romania (66% of the EU average) and Poland (68%), while they were most expensive in Denmark (129% of the average), Luxembourg (126%) and Austria (125%).

Clothing is a group of products where prices differed less among Member States, ranging from 73% of the average in Hungary to 130% in Denmark. Personal transport equipment also recorded a smaller price disparity among Member States, with Poland (80% of the EU average) cheapest and Denmark (137%) most expensive. Price differences were also limited for consumer electronics, from 87% of the average in Poland to 112% in the Netherlands and in Malta.

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