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Business

German prices below European average

In 2015, Germans paid significantly less for their private consumption than most of their fellow Europeans, a new study shows, with the Swiss and Norwegians bearing the highest cost of living.

Last year, the price level of private consumption expenditure in Germany was 0.2 percent lower than the European average, including all 28 EU member states and several non-EU countries, according to official data released on Friday.

Data from the German statistics office, Destatis, showed that among EU members the Danes were paying the most for their daily needs, at 36.8 percent above the average.

But price tags in the non-EU countries Switzerland and Norway are even higher - 63.3 percent and 37.2 percent respectively above the median.

The comparison was based on a basket of goods needed for everyday life, including food, beverages, tobacco - but also rents and energy.

Within the 28-nation EU, the cost of living were the lowest in Bulgaria - 53.3 percent below average - to be followed by Poland - minus 45.2 percent.

But prices in these two countries were beat out by those in non-EU states Macedonia and Albania.

Apart from Germany, Spain was the only major European economy where living costs were below the average. In Britain, France, Italy and the Netherlands, people all had to pay much more. In Ireland, for example, alcohol was most expensive - 75 percent above - while Britons have to shell out a fortune for cigarettes and tobacco products, namely 118 percent more than their fellow Europeans.

uhe/jd (dpa, Destatis)

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