GDP per capita, expressed in Purchasing Power Standard, in Bulgaria was the lowest in the European Union in 2018, at half the EU average.
This is according to figures released on June 19 by EU statistics agency Eurostat.
The Purchasing Power Standard (PPS) is an artificial currency unit that eliminates price level differences between countries. Thus one PPS buys the same volume of goods and services in all countries. This unit allows meaningful volume comparisons of economic indicators across countries.
In 2018, GDP per capita expressed in PPS ranged between 50 per cent of the EU average in Bulgaria and 254 per cent in Luxembourg.
Bulgaria also ranked bottom in the EU in Actual Individual Consumption (AIC), a measure of material welfare of households.
AIC consists of goods and services actually consumed by individuals, irrespective of whether these goods and services are purchased and paid for by households, by government, or by non-profit organisations.
In international volume comparisons of consumption, AIC is often seen as the preferable measure, since it is not influenced by the fact that the organisation of certain important services consumed by households, like health and education services, differs a lot across countries.
Bulgaria’s AIC per capita in 2018 was 44 per cent below the EU average, Eurostat said.
The highest level in the EU was recorded in Luxembourg, 32 per cent above the EU average.
Germany was about 20 per cent above, followed by Austria, Denmark, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Sweden and France, which all recorded levels between about five per cent and 15 per cent above the EU average.
AIC per capita for 13 EU countries lay between the EU average and 25 per cent below.
In Italy, Cyprus, Ireland, Spain and Lithuania the levels were 10 per cent or less below the EU average, while the Czech Republic, Portugal and Malta were between 10 per cent and 20 per cent below and Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia and Greece between 20 per cent and 25 per cent below.
Six member states recorded AIC per capita 25 per cent or more below the EU average. Estonia was 26 per cent below, Latvia and Romania were 30 per cent below, while Hungary and Croatia had AIC per capita just under 40 per cent below and Bulgaria was 44 per cent below.