Consumer price levels in Bulgaria are less than half the European Union average, and the country has the lowest prices of alcohol and tobacco as well as restaurants and hotels in the EU.
This is according to a report for 2014 by EU statistics office Eurostat, released on June 19 2015.
Eurostat said that in 2014, price levels for consumer goods and services differed widely in the EU.
Poland was cheapest both for food and consumer electronics, while alcohol and tobacco as well as restaurants and hotels were the least expensive in Bulgaria.
Prices for clothing were lowest in Hungary, while the Czech Republic was least expensive for both consumer electronics and personal transport equipment such as cars. Overall, price levels ranged from 48 per cent of the EU average in Bulgaria to 138 per cent in Denmark.
Price levels for food and non-alcoholic beverages in 2014 ranged from 61 per cent of the EU average in Poland to 139 per cent of the average in Denmark. Differences in price levels between member states were less pronounced for this product group than for the total of goods and services, Eurostat said.
Price levels for alcoholic beverages and tobacco varied by one to three, the lowest prices being registered in Bulgaria (58 per cent of the average) and Hungary (65 per cent), and the highest in Ireland (170 per cent) and the United Kingdom (165 per cent). This large price variation is mainly due to differences in taxation of these products among EU countries, Eurostat said.
Clothing is one of the groups of products showing a smaller price variation among member states, with Hungary (70 per cent of the average) cheapest and Sweden (121 per cent) most expensive.
Consumer electronics is another group of products where prices differed less among member states, ranging from 85 per cent of the average in both the Czech Republic and Poland to 116 per cent in Malta.
With the noticeable exception of Denmark (151 per cent of the average), price differences among EU countries were also limited for personal transport equipment, from 75 per cent in the Czech Republic to 114 per cent in Portugal and 117 per cent in the Netherlands.
In contrast, prices for restaurants and hotels showed more significant variations, with price levels ranging from 46 per cent of the average in Bulgaria to 147 per cent of the average in Denmark.
The data are based on the results of price surveys covering more than 2400 consumer goods and services across Europe, which are part of the Eurostat-OECD Purchasing Power Parity programme.
Price level indices (PLIs) provide a comparison of countries’ price levels relative to the European Union average: if the price level index is higher than 100, the country concerned is relatively more expensive than the EU average, while if the price level index is lower than 100, then the country is relatively cheaper than the EU average.
(Photo: Trish Hughes/sxc.hu)