Romania’s households are considered to be wealthier in real terms than those from Bulgaria, Croatia and Hungary, with 70 percent of European Union average in terms of Actual Individual Consumption (AIC), fresh Eurostat data show.
In 2018, Romania recorded the fourth-lowest AIC level in EU, after Bulgaria (56 percent of EU average), Croatia (63 percent), Hungary (64 percent), and was at the same level with Latvia (70 percent).
However, Romania remains below Estonia (74 percent), Greece (76 percent), Slovakia, Poland and Slovenia (all 77 percent).
“Ten Member States recorded AIC per capita above the EU average in 2018. The highest level in the EU was recorded in Luxembourg, 32 percent above the EU average. Germany was around 20 percent above, followed by Austria, Denmark, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Sweden and France, which all recorded levels between around 5 percent and 15 percent above the EU average,” Eurostat said.
Countries in the region outside the EU post lower levels of AIC per capita: Turkey – 68 percent of EU average in 2018, Montenegro – 57 percent, Serbia – 48 percent, North Macedonia – 41 percent and Albania – 38 percent.
According to Eurostat, Actual Individual Consumption is a measure of “material welfare of households”.
Actual Individual Consumption consists of goods and services actually consumed by individuals, irrespective of whether these goods and services are purchased and paid for by households, by government, or by non-profit organisations.
“In international volume comparisons of consumption, AIC is often seen as the preferable measure, since it is not influenced by the fact that the organisation of certain important services consumed by households, like health and education services, differs a lot across countries,” Eurostat says.
The same report confirms that Romania remains on the third-poorest EU member in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita in purchasing power standards (PPS) in 2018.
With 64 percent of EU average, Romania overtakes Croatia, which registered a GDP per capita in PPS of 63 percent of the EU average last year, and Bulgaria (50 percent).