According to a study realized by the EU statistics agency, Irish consumers encountered the fifth highest overall prices among the 27 EU countries (18 % above average) on several categories of consumer goods and services.
The present survey was based on 2010 prices, it was found out that the cost of goods and services were the highest in Denmark (43% above average) and the most lower in Bulgaria (49% below).
Consumers in Ireland paid above-average prices in four of the six categories, clothing and electronic goods dropping just below the 27 nation tier.
The price of alcohol and tobacco products is 70% above the average, it is nearly three times what people pay in Bulgaria and Romania, and 28% higher than in the UK, that has the second highest prices in this category.
“This significant price variation happens due to dissimilarities in taxation of these products among member states,” EU statistics agency stated.
A week ago the agency declared that the mean income per head in Ireland joint third highest among the 27 EU countries in 2010 – 25 % higher than the average.
Also the survey underlined that Irish residents encountered the second highest prices for food and non-alcoholic beverages – 20% more than the EU average.
The Danish once again paid more in the food and non-alcoholic beverages category (36% higher than the EU average), while Romania and Bulgaria residents paid only two-thirds of the EU average.
At the average, goods and services cost 18% more in Ireland than in the UK.
The greatest difference between the two was mostly detected in the prices of alcohol and cigarettes (28% higher) and restaurants (26% higher). Probably the only category where people in the UK paid more than Irish residents was for electronic goods, which are 4% less here.
Ireland was also third highest behind Denmark and Portugal, when it comes to personal transport costs and spare parts, paying 16% above the EU average.
Commenting upon the study, the Irish Hotels Federation stated that the statistics hid “essential decrease” in hotel accommodation costs in Ireland since 2008. Prices have decreases by 30% in that period, the federation stated.
Irish Farmers Association state that the survey acknowledged that the food supply chain in Ireland “continues to be unstable”.
According to David Fitzsimons, manager of the Retail Excellence Ireland the survey underlined that the Irish retail sector had answered to a dramatic change in consumer expenditures. “One thing from this survey is clear – a great number of retailers are working at a loss,” he stated.