Ireland most expensive in Europe

Joe Humphreys in the Irish Times reports on the latest annual statement on prices and costs from the National Competitiveness Council. Consumer price inflation in Ireland has risen at twice the rate of the Euro zone average since 1999 and the average price of Irish goods and services by 22 per cent above the EU average in the same period.Statement and full report can be found here

Selected quotes from the Irish Times article

“Ireland is now ‘almost on a par with Finland’ as the most expensive country in the eurozone, according to a new report on competitiveness and price inflation”

“Consumer price inflation in Ireland exceeded that in both the euro zone and the EU-15 for the past seven years, rising by 17.5 per cent between December 1999 and December 2003. This compared to an EU-15 average of 8.4 per cent over the same period.”

“On consumer prices, the report said Ireland was the most expensive country in the eurozone for food, non-alcoholic beverages, tobacco and rentals for housing, and the second most expensive for alcoholic beverages, restaurants and pubs.”

“In a European-wide survey last March of low-priced stores, Ireland was found to be the most expensive in the eurozone for 10 out of 33 basic foodstuffs, namely mineral water, potatoes, lettuce, oranges, apples, peaches, lamb chops, potato chips, table salt and biscuits. It was also most expensive for four out of 14 non-food consumables, i.e batteries, toilet tissue, shampoo and toothpaste.”

“Most Irish inflation over this period has been generated domestically, and is not as a result of rising prices for imported goods, the report stressed.”

“Mr William Burgess, chairman of the NCC, said the research ‘confirms the widely-held belief that Ireland is an expensive location for both business and consumers’.”

Irish Times