Switzerland has the highest prices in Europe

Published 25-06-2015
© European Union, 2015
Data published recently by Eurostat show that the overall price levels in the EFTA countries were higher than the average price level in the European Union (EU) in 2014. Switzerland had the highest overall price level, followed by Norway. Iceland was closer to the EU average, but some products, like consumer electronics, were relatively more expensive in Iceland than in the other EFTA countries.

The price level for consumer goods and services in Switzerland in 2014 was 154% of the average price level in the EU. This made the Swiss overall price level the highest among the EFTA and EU countries. Norway had the second highest price level, at 148% of the EU average, and Iceland had the ninth highest, at 117% of the EU average. Price levels varied considerably across the EU; from 138% of the EU average in Denmark and 125% in Sweden, to 48% in Bulgaria and 54% in Romania.

Data for price levels on some specific product groups are also available. Norway and Switzerland both had a high price level for food and non-alcoholic beverages, at 169% and 153% of the EU average respectively. In Iceland, food prices equalled 127% of the average EU food prices, and were thus closer to the EU average. There was a similar pattern for prices of restaurants and hotels.

The price level for a given product group does not necessarily conform to the overall price level. Clothing and consumer electronics were the most expensive in Iceland in 2014. The prices for clothing in Iceland were 139% of the average in the EU, followed by 127% in Norway and 122% in Switzerland. The price level for consumer electronics, such as televisions and cameras, varied more among the EFTA countries, from 148% of the EU average in Iceland, to 108% in Norway and 94% in Switzerland.

The data are based on price surveys covering more than 2 400 consumer goods and services across Europe. Liechtenstein did not participate in these surveys.

For further information, see Eurostat's news release 114/2015 and a dedicated article on comparative price levels of consumer goods and services

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