Irish consumer prices overall were among the highest of the EU27 in 2010

Ireland had the highest prices for alcohol and tobacco products in the EU in 2010 and consumer prices overall were among the highest of the EU27 last year.

In 2010, price levels for consumer goods and services differed widely across member countries of the European Union. Denmark (143% of the EU27 average) had the highest price level, followed by Finland (123%).

Price levels of 10% to 20% above the EU27 average were found in Luxembourg and Sweden (both 120%), Ireland (118%) Belgium and France (both 112%), while Austria (107%), the Netherlands (106%), Germany and Italy (both 104%) were around 5% above the average. The United Kingdom (100%) was on the EU27 average.

Spain (97% of the EU27 average) and Greece (96%) were just below the average, while Cyprus (89%), Portugal (88%) and Slovenia (84%) were between 10% and 20% below. Price levels between 20% and 30% below the average were observed in Malta (79%), Estonia (75%), the Czech Republic (72%) and Slovakia (71%), and levels between 30% and 40% below in Latvia (69%), Hungary (65%), Lithuania and Poland (both 63%). The lowest price levels were found in Bulgaria (51%) and Romania (59%).

These data come from a report published by Eurostat, the statistics office of the European Union.

Highest price levels in Denmark and lowest in Bulgaria

Price levels for food and non-alcoholic beverages in 2010 ranged from 66% of the EU27 average in Bulgaria to 136% of the average in Denmark. Differences in price levels between member countries were smaller for this product group than for total goods and services.

For alcoholic beverages and tobacco, prices were lowest in Bulgaria and Romania (both 64% of the average) and highest in Ireland (170%). 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 countries. Bulgaria (75% of the average) was cheapest and Sweden (126% of the average) was most expensive for clothing.

Consumer electronics is another group of products where prices differed less among member countries, from 89% of the average in Bulgaria to 115% in Sweden. Excluding Denmark (167% of the average), price differences among member countries were also limited for personal transport equipment, with levels varying from 88% of the EU27 average in Bulgaria, Estonia and Romania to 120% in Portugal.

For restaurants and hotels, price variations were more significant, with price levels ranging from 45% of the average in Bulgaria to 153% of the average in Denmark.