Switzerland has the highest prices in Europe, Norway comes in third

SupermarketPhoto: Charles Gao / Unsplash
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In 2019, Switzerland had Europe’s highest price level, summer figures from Eurostat showed.

However, Norway was the most expensive when it comes to transport, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco.

The figures from the European Purchasing Power Survey published in August show clear geographical dividing lines in terms of price levels in Europe.

The results are preliminary, and final figures for 2019 will be published in December of 2020, according to Statistics Norway (SSB).

Lowest prices? The Balkans

The price level in Switzerland was 62% above the EU average. 

Iceland, Norway, and Denmark then followed with prices that were 54, 50, and 41% above the EU average, respectively.

The lowest price level was recorded in Eastern Europe, especially among the countries in the Balkans. 

Several countries in the Balkans showed price levels that were around half the European average.

The lowest price level was registered in Turkey, with a price level index of 47, which means that the price level was 53% below the average for the EU countries.

Food and drink

For the consumer group “food- and alcohol-free drinks,” Norway was the most expensive compared with the rest of the Nordic countries.

The price level in Norway was 57% above the EU, and only Switzerland showed higher prices in the European context. 

In comparison, the prices of food and drink in the neighboring countries were from 11 to 27% lower than in Norway.

In the group “alcoholic beverages and tobacco,” Norway and Iceland had the highest prices in the Nordic countries and in Europe, with indices of 236 and 213, respectively.

That means that the price level in Norway and Iceland was 136% and 113% above the EU average, largely due to high taxes within this product group.

Compared to Norwegians, Danes and Swedes paid only about half for alcohol and tobacco, while Finns paid about 30% less.

Transport most expensive in Norway

The highest price level in the Nordic region for goods and services related to transport was registered in Norway, with a price level that was 42% above the EU average. 

That was also the highest level in Europe.

The price levels in Iceland and Denmark were 7% and 9% lower than in Norway, respectively, while Sweden and Finland were around 20% lower.

Source: Norway Today / SSB

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