Czech prices for electronics, clothes below EU average

Czechs spend 72 percent of EU average on consumer goods, and prices in some categories that were above average have dropped a bit

Simple tasks like shopping can become overwhelming to people who have just relocated and have no idea of the language or where to find basic items | na serveru Lidovky.cz | aktuální zprávy Simple tasks like shopping can become overwhelming to people who have just relocated and have no idea of the language or where to find basic items | foto: © ČESKÁ POZICEČeská pozice
Simple tasks like shopping can become overwhelming to people who have just relocated and have no idea of the language or where to find basic items

Consumer prices in the Czech Republic were at 72 percent of the EU-27 average in 2010, with restaurants and hotels offering the best deals. For the past three years, overall price levels have held relatively constant with the Czech Republic also at 72 percent in 2008, according to Eurostat, the EU statistical arm. Some items that such as consumer electronics and clothing — which had been above the EU average — are now below it but just barely.

Older EU member states topped the list. “In 2010, price levels for consumer goods and services differed widely across Member States. Denmark (143 percent of the EU27 average) had the highest price level, followed by Finland (123 percent),” the Eurostat report stated. Luxembourg, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium and France also ranked high.

Newer member states fell to the bottom. “Price levels between 20 percent and 30 percent below the average were observed in Malta (79 percent), Estonia (75 percent), the Czech Republic (72 percent) and Slovakia (71 percent), the report said. Levels between 30 percent and 40 percent below were in Latvia, Hungary, Lithuania and Poland. “The lowest price levels were found in Bulgaria (51 percent) and Romania (59 percent),” the report said. ‘The lowest price levels were found in Bulgaria and Romania.’

Prices for restaurants and hotels in the Czech Republic were 59 percent of the EU average in 2010, and this was down from 65 percent in 2008. Figures were not given for 2009, when the Euostat price report focused only on food, beverage and tobacco prices. In recent years, there has been stiff price competition among higher category hotels.

Food and nonalcoholic beverages were at 78 percent of the EU average. “Price levels for food and non-alcoholic beverages in 2010 ranged from 66 percent of the EU27 average in Bulgaria to 136 percent of the average in Denmark. Differences in price levels between Member States were smaller for this product group than for total goods and services,” Eurosat said.

Alcoholic beverage and tobacco prices in the Czech Republic were are 82 percent of the EU average in 2010, the same as in 2008. Figures for 2009 were given separately, with alcohol at 89 percent and tobacco at 75 percent.  “For alcoholic beverages and tobacco, prices were lowest in Bulgaria and Romania (both 64 percent of the average) and highest in Ireland (170 percent). This large price variation is mainly due to differences in taxation of these products among Member States,” Eurostat said.

The price gap closes significantly for personal transport equipment, consumer electronics and clothing. Personal transport equipment — including cars, motorcycles and bicycles but excluding parts, fuel and maintenance — was at 90 percent of the EU average, but down from 101 percent in 2008. “Excluding Denmark (167 percent of the average), price differences among Member States were also limited for personal transport equipment,” Eurostat said.

Consumer electronics registered at 97 percent of the EU average, with household appliances at 99 percent. This is also a drop from 2008, when electronics were at 108 percent and appliances at 111 percent. “Consumer electronics is another group of products where prices differed less among Member States, from 89 percent of the average in Bulgaria to 115 percent in Sweden,” the report noted. The gap is closing over time, as it was 86 to 126 percent in 2008. ‘Clothing is one of the groups of products showing the smallest price variation among Member States.’

Clothing was at 98 percent of the EU average— but this is also down from 113 percent in 2008. “Clothing is one of the groups of products showing the smallest price variation among Member States. Bulgaria (75 percent of the average) was cheapest and Sweden (126 percent of the average) was most expensive for clothing,” Eurostat pointed out.

The areas in 2010 where the Czech Republic was above the EU average were electricity, gas and other fuels, at 106 percent; and communication, at 107 percent. The country did not score as the most expensive or least expensive in any of the tracked categories.

 TotalFood and nonalcoholic beveragesAlcoholic beverages and tobaccoClothingConsumer electronicsPersonal transport equipmentRestaurants and hotels
Price level indices for consumer goods and services, 2010
EU-27100100100100100100100
Belgium112115100115103101112
Bulgaria51666475898845
Czech Republic72788298979059
Denmark143136125125113167153
Germany1041109810496101103
Estonia7581801001018871
Ireland1181201709594116129
Greece9698901071009696
Spain979480901009895
France112109108107103102104
Italy104106104101106100107
Cyprus89406959410698106
Latvia698383100969177
Lithuania63727898979265
Luxembourg120116881059697107
Hungary65816885999554
Malta7993918811011477
Netherlands1069610210298113105
Austria10711592103102106104
Poland63707496919077
Portugal8891831009910281
Romania59676494968850
Slovenia849580981029487
Slovakia718182102978971
Finland123113136122106114129
Sweden12011614012611598138
United Kingdom100102142899891103
 Source: Eurostat, EU-27=100