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Ireland one of the most costly countries in the EU for goods and services says report

Last year, Ireland was one of the most costly nations in the EU for household expenditure on goods and services, with prices 46 percent higher than the EU average.

New European Commission estimates reaffirmed the Republic’s high cost of living, with only Switzerland and Iceland having higher overall consumer prices in 2022.

According to the report, the high level of total costs in Ireland was mostly driven by high prices for alcohol and tobacco, energy, transportation, and communications. In terms of alcohol and tobacco, the Republic has the highest costs in the EU, more than twice the EU average.

Ireland’s costs for alcoholic drinks and tobacco products were 116% higher than the average EU price and 3.3 times higher than the cheapest EU member, Bulgaria. According to the report, customers spend an average of 6% of all household expenditures on such items.

The report is based on price surveys of over 2,000 consumer goods and services conducted in 36 European nations, including the EU’s 27 member states. It was argued that the wide pricing discrepancies for alcohol and cigarettes were mostly attributable to differences in how these items are taxed.

Based on the report, Ireland the fourth most costly country in the EU for food and non-alcoholic drinks in 2022, with costs 15% higher than the EU average. Only Denmark, Luxembourg, and Malta had higher prices for essential grocery products last year, on which people spent about one-fifth of their income.

On the plus side for Irish consumers, clothing prices in the Republic were 2% lower than the EU average last year, while furniture prices were just 1% higher.

According to the report, apparel prices in Ireland are lower than in the majority of EU member countries, but footwear is priced considerably higher by EU standards, at 5% over average. Similarly, the cost of domestic appliances in Ireland is comparatively low, just 6.5% higher than the EU average, while consumer electronics are 6% higher.

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