Ireland second highest in the EU for cost of goods and services

Cost of utilities in Ireland nearly four fifths higher than EU average, figures show

The price of goods and services for consumers in Ireland was the second highest in the European Union last year, with the cost of alcohol and cigarettes among the most expensive, new figures show.

The cost of housing and utilities bills are higher in Ireland than anywhere else in the EU, according to new Eurostat figures.

Housing costs, which take into account the amount spent on repairs, electricity, gas and other fuel bills, are nearly 78 per cent higher than the EU average.

Ireland is ahead of Luxembourg, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Finland, topping the table of EU countries when it comes to the cost of housing bills, the figures show.


The average cost of housing is lowest in Bulgaria, followed by Poland, Romania, and Croatia.

Ireland also recorded the highest costs for consumers when it came to buying alcohol and tobacco last year.

The research found the cost of alcohol and cigarettes in Ireland was more than 86 per cent higher than the EU average.

The European country with the second highest cost for alcohol or cigarettes products was Finland, followed by Sweden, and then France.

The Eurostat figures compare the average cost of various consumer goods and services in 2020, between EU countries.

Across every area, from the cost of transport, to food prices, Irish consumers paid more than the EU average.

When it came to the cost of personal transport, such as the price of buying cars or bicycles, Irish people paid 13 per cent more than the EU average.

Ireland was the third most expensive EU country to buy a car, motorbike, or bicycle, behind Denmark and the Netherlands, the figures stated.

The figures, published this week, outline the cost of public transport in Ireland is 37 per cent higher than the European average.

The cost of internet and telephone bills is 40 per cent higher in Ireland than the EU average. Communications costs, which also includes the price of postage, is another area where the country ranks among the most expensive in Europe.

Hospitality and food

Restaurant, bar, and hotel prices in Ireland are nearly a third higher than the EU average, with the country ranked the fourth most expensive in Europe in that area. Denmark had the highest costs when it comes to hospitality, with Sweden and Finland also ahead of Ireland in the table of Eurostat figures.

Ireland is closer to standard EU costs when it comes to the price of food, which is only a little more than 10 per cent above the average. However, the country is still ahead of Italy, Germany, and Spain when it comes to prices in that consumer category.

The cost of clothing and footwear for consumers is broadly in line with the European average, where Ireland is the 12th most expensive country. The country with the lowest cost for clothing is Bulgaria, below Hungary, Romania, and Poland.

When it comes to recreational costs, like the price of sports equipment, technology, books, and also package holidays, Ireland ranks as the sixth most expensive in the EU.

The cost of furniture, furnishings, carpets and floor coverings in Ireland is more than six per cent higher than the EU average, according to the figures.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times