Norway: Europe’s second most expensive country

Norway: Europe's second most expensive country
Photo: Berit Keilen/Scanpix
Switzerland and Norway are the most expensive countries in Europe, according to new figures from statistics office Eurostat.

In 2011, consumer goods and services in Switzerland came in at 62 percent above the European Union average, while Norwegian shoppers could expect to cough up 51 percent more than consumers in the EU.

Eurostat’s study is based on prices in the 27 EU member states, as well as European Free Trade Association (EFTA) members Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, acceding state Croatia, EU candidates Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey, along with potential candidates Albania and Bosnia.

Examining the prices of more than 2,400 goods and services, Eurostat found that Norway was the most expensive of the 37 countries in three of the four main consumer goods groups: food and non-alcoholic beverages; alcoholic beverages and tobacco; and footwear. Swiss shoppers meanwhile took the toughest hit for clothing costs.

For furniture, Norway was joined at the top by the UK, before again moving into a class of its own for pricey hotels and restaurants, as well as transport services.

At the other end of the scale, Macedonia was the least expensive country, followed by Albania and Bulgaria.

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