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Ireland Tops EU Inflation Rankings, Among Most Expensive Countries for Goods and Services

DUBLIN: Ireland stands out in the European Union as one of the most expensive countries for goods and services, according to Eurostat figures.

The data reveals that Ireland is 42% more expensive than the EU average across most categories, excluding clothing. This places Ireland just behind Denmark, which tops the list with a 43% higher cost of living.

Since 2016, price levels in Ireland have consistently been 29% higher than the EU average, with the gap widening annually. Interestingly, Ireland surpasses traditionally expensive countries like Sweden and Norway in terms of the overall cost of living.

The survey, which assessed over 2,000 consumer goods and services last year, found that Irish consumers pay more across the board.

Experts express surprise at the findings, attributing Ireland’s high cost of living to high taxes and a weak regulatory environment.

Bonkers, a price comparison website, emphasised that the Eurostat figures dispel any notion of Ireland being a low-cost country.

Key areas where Ireland exceeds EU averages include household costs such as rent, mortgage rates, gas, and electricity, which are more than twice as high. The price difference for alcohol and tobacco, despite high taxation, is also double the EU average due to Ireland’s hefty taxes in these areas.

Restaurants and hotels in Ireland are 28% more expensive than the EU average, making Ireland the third most expensive EU country in this category, following Denmark and Finland.

Energy costs saw an 18% increase last year, while transportation costs were 15% higher than the EU average.

Despite Ireland’s agricultural sector, food prices remain high, standing 13% above the EU average. Ireland ranks fourth in the EU for food and non-alcoholic beverage prices.

Additionally, entertainment and cultural event expenses in Ireland are 16% higher than the EU average, placing Ireland sixth in this category.

In terms of communication costs, Ireland ranks fourth in the EU, with prices being 42% higher than average.

On a positive note, clothing costs in Ireland are slightly lower, with textile prices 4% below the EU average and footwear prices 5% above.

These figures underscore the considerable financial challenges faced by consumers and businesses in Ireland compared to their European counterparts.

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