November 21, 2018

UK one of the 10 most expensive European countries for consumer goods

With the EU referendum pushing the cost of living in Britain upwards, anxiety regarding the uncertainty of our future continues. But while a post-Brexit future is a mystery, one thing remains certain, living in the UK is not cheap, and new data from Eurostat just goes to prove it.

British marketplace OnBuy.com investigated which European countries are deemed the most and least expensive for consumer goods and services, by analysing recent figures released by Eurostat.

OnBuy looked at the total figures for 2017* which includes 11 categories across 31 EU member state countries.

How expensive is the UK for the cost of consumer goods and services?

It seems from analysing the figures, that the UK is 17.4% more expensive than the EU average; making it the 9th most expensive EU country.

When broken down, the UK only falls below the average (100%) for two categories: Clothing and footwear (88.3%), and food and non-alcoholic beverages (93%).

Appearing just above the EU average is the cost of furnishings and household equipment (4% above the EU average).

And whilst price levels differ widely among EU member countries, consumers in the UK seem to be overpaying for several consumer goods and services. OnBuy found for example that when it comes to education, UK citizens are paying 28% above the EU average for their schooling.

However, the categories tipping UK customers over the edge are: Alcohol beverages and Tobacco (57.4% above average), ranking the UK as the fourth most expensive. Topping the list is housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, which set Brits back by an additional 59.2%.

Which are the most and least expensive European countries?

When you compare the overall cost of living in Europe (which includes all 11 categories), the most expensive country is Iceland, 71.6% above the EU average. Iceland is followed by Switzerland (65.6%) and Norway (51.9%).

At the other end of the scale, the least expensive European countries are Bulgaria (44% below EU average), Romania (48.4%) and Poland (53.2%).

When it comes to specific products the figures differ. For ‘food and non-alcoholic beverages’ Switzerland wears the crown for expense, with prices 67.7% above the EU average.

Unsurprisingly, Iceland can be found among the top 10 most expensive countries for all 11 categories listed by Eurostat. Iceland is more than double the EU average for the price of alcoholic beverages and tobacco (128% more). Not to mention, Iceland was the most expensive for: clothing and footwear, furnishings and household equipment, transport, recreation and culture and restaurants and hotels.

* Eurostat provides data between 2000-2017, with a comparison to see if there has been an increase or decrease per country compared to the EU average.