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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Comparative Price Levels for Food, Beverages and Tobacco

2015

 Food and Non-Alcoholic BeveragesAlcoholic BeveragesTobacco
European Union 28100100100
European 38 (max)173250220
 SwitzerlandNorwayNorway
Ireland 119175189
European 38 (min)586125
 FYR of MacedoniaFYR of MacedoniaFYR of Macedonia

Price Level Indices for Food, Beverages and Tobacco across Europe in 2015

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This release focuses primarily on the price levels of Food, Beverages and Tobacco across 38 European countries. The Price Level Indices shown in this release use European Union 28 as "base country" (EU28=100).  The data in this release are produced by the Eurostat-OECD Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) Programme.

The country groups included in the analysis are the 28 Member States of the European Union (EU), the three European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland), the five candidate countries (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Albania and Turkey), the potential candidate country (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Kosovo1.

The Food, Beverages and Tobacco Survey was carried out in 2015 within the Eurostat-OECD Purchasing Power Parities (PPP) Programme.  Prices were collected for over 400 individual items covering the main broad categories including, Bread and cereals; Meat; Fish; Milk, Cheese and eggs; Oils and fats; Fruits, vegetables and potatoes;  Non-Alcoholic Beverages; Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco.  The full list of items is included in the Background Notes section of this release.

The results of the survey are expressed in Price Level Indices, which provide a comparison of countries’ price levels with respect to the EU28 average (100).  If the price level index is higher than 100, the country concerned is relatively more expensive compared to the EU28 average, while on the other hand, if the price level index is lower than 100, then the country is less expensive compared to the EU28 average. See Background Notes for further details.

The Table above summarises the main results with a particular focus on the Irish price levels.  As expected the 2015 results show significant differences in price levels for Food, Beverages and Tobacco across the 38 European countries. 

For the overall category Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages Switzerland was the most expensive country, with prices on average 73% above the EU28 average, while the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was the least expensive, 42% below the EU28 average.  The most expensive country was three times more expensive than the least expensive country.  Irish prices were 19% above the EU28 average and roughly 14% above the Eurozone 19 (104) average.

The picture with respect to the price level for Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco was slightly different. In both cases the gap between the most expensive and the least expensive country was significantly wider, Tobacco prices showing the greatest variation across the countries.

The results show that Norway was the most expensive country for Alcoholic Beverages, prices were 150% above the EU28 average. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was the least expensive country 39% below the EU28 average.  For Alcoholic Beverages the most expensive country was roughly 4 times more expensive than the least expensive country.   The price level for Alcoholic Beverages in Ireland was 75% above the EU average and approximately 90% above the Eurozone 19 average (92).

Norway had the highest price level for Tobacco, prices were 120% above the EU28 average. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was the least expensive, 75% below the EU28 average.  For Tobacco the most expensive country was approximately 9 times more expensive than the least expensive country. The Irish price level index for Tobacco was 89% above the EU28 average and roughly twice the Eurozone 19 average (96).

Tables 1 and 2 below show  the price levels for  Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages by country and the price levels for the main Food subcategories i.e. Bread & cereals; Meat; Fish; Milk, Cheese & eggs; Oils & fats and Fruits, vegetables and potatoes by country. Table 3 shows the price level indices for Alcohol by country while Table 4 shows the price level indices for Tobacco by country.  In each Table the Irish price levels are highlighted in green and the Eurozone 19 average in blue.

 

1 Kosovo under UNSCR 1244/99.