Jul 16, 2009
Britain cheapest for clothes in EU
Jul 16, 2009
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Europeans hunting for bargains on clothes and consumer electronics would have found the lowest prices in Britain last year, but drinking alcohol there could have left them short of cash, a study showed Thursday 16 July.
The report comparing consumer prices across the 27-nation European Union in 2008 found Denmark to be the bloc's most expensive country, with prices at 141 percent of the EU average. Bulgaria was the cheapest, at 51 percent. Britain, with prices at 99 percent of the average, had the cheapest clothing and consumer electronics, at 83 percent and 86 percent respectively, lower than Bulgaria and Romania, EU statistics office Eurostat said. Prices for clothes in Bulgaria and Romania were slightly higher.
That could have resulted partly from the exchange rate of the pound, which fell against the euro last year. Sterling remains weak as the economic crisis rages.
Still, British prices of alcohol and tobacco came in at 150 percent of the EU average, providing justification for "booze cruises" to France, where the level was 108 percent.
In Ireland, alcohol and tobacco were even more expensive -- 184 percent of the EU average.
In general, Ireland ranked as the EU's second most expensive country, with prices at 127 percent of the bloc's average, followed by Finland, Luxembourg, Sweden and Belgium. Germany's prices were 104 percent of the average.
Apart from Bulgaria, cheap locations included ex-communist countries from central and eastern Europe -- Romania, Lithuania, Poland and Hungary.
(Writing by Marcin Grajewski, editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)
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