This is an archived release.
Food prices highest in the EFTA countries
The EFTA countries Norway, Switzerland and Iceland have the highest food prices in Europe, with Denmark substantially above the EU average as well. Results from the 2001 price survey indicate that food prices in Norway are 54 percent higher than in the EU as a whole.
For non-alcoholic beverages, the difference is 64 percent. Highly taxed products like alcoholic beverages and tobacco contribute further to a high relative price level in Norway.
High price levels in Norway, Switzerland and Iceland
The relative price level for food is about 50 percent higher in these countries than in the EU as a whole. Denmark, with the highest level of food prices in the EU (28 percent above the average), is far behind the three EFTA countries. The price levels in Sweden and Finland are somewhat above the EU average, whereas Greece, Portugal and Spain have the lowest food prices in the EU. Most EU candidate countries have a price level substantially below the EU average.
In Norway and Iceland, price levels are high for both non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages as well. Norway and Britain have the highest price levels for tobacco.
High prices of bread, sugar and meat
The three EFTA countries and - to a lesser extent - Denmark generally have high price levels for all types of food. In Norway, the price levels are particularly high for bread and cereals, sugar products and meat. Among the non-alcoholic beverages, the sub-group 'mineral waters, soft drinks, fruit and vegetable juices' contribute to the high price level in Norway, whereas coffee, tea and cocoa prices are closer to the EU average.
Results do not reflect different income levels
Price level indices reflect the price levels faced by consumers, given that they conform to the average consumption pattern of each country. The results do not take each country's income level into account. Statistics previously published have shown that price and income levels will often tend to be correlated. For example, in 2000 the EFTA countries had a higher GDP per capita than the EU countries taken as a whole, even after GDP figures had been adjusted to take the different price levels into account.
The price data for this survey was collected within the framework of the European Comparison Programme (ECP) in May 2001. The prices have later been adjusted to annual average and aggregated using expenditure values from each country's National Accounts as weights. The results published here are preliminary.
|Price Level Indices for food, beverages and tobacco in selected countries. EU15=100.|
|Bread and cereals||136||132||105||166||99||171||57||86||140||122||106|
|Milk, cheese and eggs||110||101||108||141||117||143||58||112||133||104||82|
|Oils and fats||131||116||123||150||96||151||87||110||167||125||91|
|Sugar, jam, honey chocolate and confectionery||141||109||105||162||95||170||76||114||129||127||88|
|Coffee, tea and cocoa||110||111||101||136||97||118||81||109||106||92||111|
|Mineral waters, soft drinks, fruit and vegetable juices||162||123||86||162||86||188||76||133||116||132||102|
|Source: Source: Eurostat.|
Read more about this subject in Eurostat's publication " Statistics in Focus "