MAP: Norway is Europe’s most expensive country for alcohol, tobacco and transport
Although Switzerland had the highest prices in general in Europe last year, Norway is Europe’s most expensive country for transport, alcoholic drinks and tobacco.
New figures from European agency Eurostat show that the highest consumer prices in Europe in 2019 were to be found in Switzerland.
But Norway was the most expensive for tobacco and alcoholic drinks as well as the cost of transport.
National statistics agency Statistics Norway analysed the Eurostat figures to produce a report which display a “clear geographical division with regard to price levels for consumption of household goods and price level-adjusted GDP per capita in Europe”.
The results are preliminary, with final figures for 2019 to be published in December.
Switzerland was the most expensive country in Europe in 2019, with price levels 62 percent over the average level for the 27 EU countries, according to Statistics Norway’s report.
Iceland, Norway and Denmark follow Switzerland with price indexes of 154, 150 and 141 percent respectively. That means those countries have prices for consumer goods 54 percent, 50 percent and 41 percent over the EU27 average, respectively.
Prices were generally lower in Eastern European and Balkan countries. The lowest prices were found in Turkey, with a price index at 47 meaning its average prices are 53 percent under the average for the EU countries.
For consumer products and services grouped together by Statistics Norway in the report, the categories for food and non-alcoholic drinks were the most expensive in Norway compared to the other Nordic countries. Only Switzerland was more expensive.
Norway was most expensive of all for tobacco products and alcoholic drinks, at 136 percent of the EU27 average. Even Nordic neighbours Denmark and Sweden are far cheaper than Norway for this category, with consumers in those countries paying “around half as much” for alcohol and tobacco, according to the Statistics Norway analysis.
The highest price level of all for Norway was for transport, with Norwegian price levels 42 percent over the EU average as well as being the highest in Europe.
In other categories, including hotel and restaurants, clothing and shoes, and culture and leisure, Norway’s prices remain well above EU averages, although it is not the most expensive Nordic country. Iceland is more expensive in all three groups and Denmark more expensive for clothing and shoes.
Statistics Norway used its price index to calculate a price-adjusted BNP for countries in Europe. This found Norway to have the continent’s fourth-highest price-adjusted BNP, behind Luxembourg, Ireland and Switzerland. Albania, North Macedonia, Serbia and Bosnia & Herzegovina were lowest on the price-adjusted index.