Food prices: Cyprus eight per cent higher than EU average.
CYPRUS was the place to go for cheap meat and cigarettes in 2009, but for other foodstuffs including fish, alcohol and dairy, the cost was significantly higher according to the latest EU report, and when compared with expendable income, these high prices made shopping in 2009 even tougher for consumers.
Overall, when including all basic foodstuffs and alcoholic beverages, the report showed Cyprus was eight per cent above the European Union average.
When the various food and beverage sub groups are considered individually, the report shows the most expensive foods to be milk, cheese and eggs. At 37 per cent above the EU average, Cyprus is the third most expensive countries for these products, alongside Ireland and Greece.
Bread and cereals were slightly cheaper, but still 16 per cent above average, and fish was 18 per cent above average. Meat was the only surveyed foodstuff that was cheaper than the European average, at around 10 per cent below the EU average.
The report has revealed a massive gap between the most expensive and the cheapest countries and though relatively pricey, Cyprus is still cheaper than eight other countries; Ireland, Finland, Luxembourg, Austria, Belgium, Germany and France.
The most expensive of all EU 27 was Denmark, where the average price was 40 per cent higher than average, and twice that of the cheapest country, Poland.
The report also surveyed former Yugoslavian republics, which were revealed to be the cheapest places to buy food products on the continent. For example, in the former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia products cost on average less than half of those in Cyprus.
The report also includes a price level index for the cost of tobacco products in the EU, which was the only other surveyed product in Cyprus to be below the EU average. With cigarettes at just 88 per cent of the EU average, tobacco products are still twice that of Bulgaria, for example.
The price index in the report gives a fair indication of the affordability of products; however, it does not directly factor in expendable income. When compared with the higher gross domestic product (GDP) of other European countries, it is clear that the higher cost of food in Cyprus is harder for the average consumer to meet.
For example, for milk, cheese and eggs, the three most expensive countries are Cyprus, Greece and Ireland. Ireland has the fourth highest expendable income in the EU; on average of 26,043 Euros (2007 figure). In contrast, Cypriots, who paid an equivalent amount over the odds, had an average expendable income of just 18,500.
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2009
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