Bulgarians paid about half the amount that other Europeans spent on consumer goods in 2013, according to data from the EU’s statistics board Eurostat, made public on June 19.
The price levels for consumer goods and services in Bulgaria were the lowest among the 28 member states of the bloc, at 48 per cent of the EU average, Eurostat said. Consumers in Denmark paid the highest prices, at 140 per cent of the EU average.
Price levels for food and non-alcoholic beverages in 2013 ranged from 62 per cent of the EU28 average in Poland to 140 per cent of the average in Denmark. For alcoholic beverages and tobacco, prices were lowest in Bulgaria (59 per cent of the average) and highest in Ireland (178 per cent).
Clothing is one of the groups of products showing a smaller price variation among member states, with Hungary (75 per cent of the average) cheapest and Sweden (130 per cent) most expensive; in Bulgaria, consumers paid 82 per cent of the EU average for clothes.
Consumer electronics is another group of products where prices differed less among member states, ranging from 86 per cent of the average in Poland to 113 per cent in Denmark, Cyprus and Malta – in Bulgaria’s case, the value is 95 per cent.
For restaurants and hotels, price variations were more significant, with price levels ranging from 47 per cent of the average in Bulgaria to 149 per cent of the average in Denmark.
Overall, consumers paid less than the EU average in 16 of the bloc’s member states – Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Hungary, Lithuania, Croatia, Slovakia, Latvia, Czech Republic, Malta, Estonia, Slovenia, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece and Spain – and more than the EU average in 12 countries – Germany, Italy, Austria, France, Belgium, Netherlands, UK, Ireland, Finland, Luxembourg, Sweden and Denmark.
While the Eurostat data does indicate that Bulgarians are paying the lowest prices for consumer goods, compared to the EU average, the statistics board does not provide equally comprehensive statistics concerning average wages in the bloc’s 28 countries.