Low prices: Romania remains a cheap country despite rapid convergence with western Europe

Sorin Melenciuc 24/06/2019 | 12:39

Romania remains among the cheapest countries in the European Union despite rapid convergence with wealthier countries in western Europe, according to the latest official statistics.

Eurostat selected 10 main categories of products and services in order to compare prices in the 28 EU member states.

Official data show that Romania has the lowest prices in the EU for 2 categories of products and services – recreation and culture (58.4 percent of EU average), and food (65.4 percent) – and the second-lowest prices for personal transport equipment (81.8 percent, after Slovakia), communications (50.8 percent, after Poland), restaurants & hotels (52.4 percent, after Bulgaria), clothing and footwear (83.2 percent, after Bulgaria), and furniture and carpets (69.6 percent, after Bulgaria).

Romania has the third-lowest costs for housing in the EU (38.8 percent of EU average) and for alcoholic beverages and tobacco (69.6 percent), and the fourth-lowest prices for transport services (55.2 percent).

Cheap food

A separate Eurostat report showed that Romania has the cheapest food among the 28 EU member states, with 66 percent of average price levels.

In 2018, the price level of a comparable basket of food and non-alcoholic beverages across the EU was twice as high in the most expensive member state than in the cheapest one.

Denmark had the highest price level for food and non-alcoholic beverages in the EU in 2018, at 130 percent of the EU average, followed by Luxembourg and Austria (both 125 percent), Ireland and Finland (both 120 percent) and Sweden (117 percent).

At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest price levels were observed in Romania (66 percent), Poland (69 percent), Bulgaria (76 percent), Lithuania (82 percent), Czechia (84 percent) and Hungary (85 percent).

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