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June 29, 2010 - While European Union statistics show that people in Bulgaria are among the lowest-paid in the EU – though salary levels are rising the sharpest in the bloc – prices of food, soft drinks, cigarettes and liquor in Bulgaria are among the lowest in the EU.
These data come from a report issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The results refer to the survey on food, beverage and tobacco prices carried out in 2009 in the 37 participating countries. This survey covered a total of about 500 comparable products.
In 2009, the price level of a comparable basket of food and non-alcoholic beverages was more than twice as high in the most expensive EU27member state than in the cheapest one, Eurostat said.
For tobacco, the price levels were almost five times higher in the most expensive EU member state than in the cheapest. The highest price levels were observed in Ireland (217 per cent of the EU27 average), United Kingdom (166 per cent), France (133 per cent) and Sweden (130 per cent), and the lowest in Bulgaria (46 per cent), Romania (47 per cent), Lithuania and Hungary (both 51 per cent).
Denmark was nearly 40 per cent above the EU27 average and had the highest price level for food and non-alcoholic beverages in the EU27 in 2009. Ireland, Finland, Luxembourg, Austria, Belgium, Germany and France were between 10 per cent and 30 per cent above the EU27 average. Italy, Cyprus, Sweden and Greece were up to 10 per cent above the average, while the Netherlands, Spain, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Malta and Portugal were up to 10 per cent below.
Latvia, Slovakia, Estonia, Hungary, the CzechRepublic and Lithuania had price levels for food and non-alcoholic beverages which were between 10 per cent and 30 per cent below the EU27 average, while Bulgaria, Romania and Poland were between 30 per cent and 40 per cent below.
Data are also available for more detailed breakdowns of food products. For bread and cereals, price levels ranged from 52 per cent of the EU27 average in Bulgaria and 58 per cent in Poland to 146 per cent in Denmark and 132 per cent in Ireland; for meat from 56 per cent in Poland and 58 per cent in Romania to 131 per cent in Denmark and 128 per cent in Austria; and for milk, cheese and eggs from 63 per cent in Poland and 77 per cent in Lithuania to 137 per cent in Ireland and Cyprus.
The price levels for alcoholic beverages ranged from one to two and a half. The highest price levels for alcoholic beverages were registered in Finland (170 per cent of the EU27 average), Ireland (167 per cent), Sweden (138 per cent) and Denmark (135 per cent), and the lowest in Romania (70 per cent), Bulgaria (77 per cent), Spain and Hungary (both 84 per cent).
Reference: Bulgaria food and soft drink prices 30 percent below EU average, The Sofia Echo, 6/28/2010.