In 2018, the price level of a comparable basket of food and non-alcoholic beverages across the European Union (EU) was twice as high in the most expensive Member State than in the cheapest one.
Denmark had the highest price level for food and non-alcoholic beverages in the EU in 2018, at 130% of the EUaverage, followed by Luxembourg and Austria (both 125%), Ireland and Finland (both 120%)and Sweden (117%). At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest price levels were observed in Romania (66%), Poland (69%), Bulgaria (76%), Lithuania (82%), Czechia (84%)and Hungary (85%).
These data are published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Highest price disparities for tobacco
Comparative data on consumer price levels are also available for more detailed breakdowns of food products. For bread and cereals, price levels ranged from 54% of the EU average in Romania to 152% in Denmark; for meat from 63% in Poland and Romania to 146% in Austria; and for milk, cheese & eggs from 71% in Poland to 136% in Cyprus.
The price levels for alcoholic beverages ranged from one to almost two and a half. The lowest price levels were registered in Bulgaria and Romania (both 74% of the EU average) and Hungary (77%), and the highest in Finland (182%), Ireland (177%) and Sweden (152%).
For tobacco, the price levels were four times higher in the most expensive Member State than in the cheapest. The lowest price levels were observed in Bulgaria (49% of the EU average), Poland (60%) and Croatia (62%), and the highest in the United Kingdom (204%), Ireland (201%) and France (141%).
The European Union (EU) includes Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Methods and definitions
The data in this article are based on the results of a price survey covering 440 products across Europe, which is part of the Eurostat-OECD Purchasing Power Parity program. 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.
The results refer to the survey on food, beverage and tobacco prices carried out in 2018 in 37 participating countries.