Finland prices higher than EU average

Residents of Finland pay more for almost all goods and services than the EU average.( Hanne Kinnunen / Yle )
Residents of Finland pay more for almost all goods and services than the EU average.( Hanne Kinnunen / Yle )
An international study comparing consumer prices among 37 Europeans countries has concluded that price levels in Finland are nearly a quarter higher than the EU average.

Telecommunications services were one of the few services in Finland that was found to be cheaper, comparatively.

Prices from 37 European countries were analysed in the study, including data from a few countries that are not European Union members. Nevertheless, all differences in prices levels were reported in relation to the EU average benchmark.

Finland did post a few areas in which prices were cheaper: in addition to telecommunications services, the price of electricity, gas and other fuels remained below the EU average.

The comparison made it clear that the starkest differences in pricing in Europe are found in the alcohol and tobacco products group, a phenomenon attributable to different taxation policies among countries.

Significant differences were also apparent in the hotel and restaurant industry and transport services, due to wide-ranging fluctuation in their related labour costs among European countries.

In Finland, alcoholic beverages and tobacco products were 35 percent more expensive than the EU average, while hotel and restaurant services were 28 percent higher and transport services were 34 percent higher.

On the other hand, the price of furniture, household appliances and consumer electronics in Finland was quite near the EU average last year, only slightly higher. The comparison indicated that the price level for these products was actually quite uniform throughout Europe, as most of these consumer categories are dominated by certain strong international brands.

The study determined that the most expensive countries in Europe were Switzerland and Norway, followed by Denmark and Sweden, with Finland coming in fifth. The lowest prices in Europe were found in the countries of Albania, Bulgaria and Macedonia.

Related stories from across the North:

Canada:  $29 Cheez Whiz? Food prices skyrocket under Canada’s Nutrition North program, CBC News

Finland:  Demand for reindeer meat up in Finland, Yle News

Sweden: Food more expensive in Sweden’s North: survey, Radio Sweden

United States: U.S. senator fights to contain Alaska food and fuel prices, Alaska Dispatch

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