Sofia, June 16, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Clive Leviev-Sawyer of The Sofia Globe
Bulgaria ranks lowest among European Union member countries in actual individual consumption (AIC) per capita, a measure of the material wealth of households, EU statistics office Eurostat said on June 16 2015.
Citing figures for 2014, Eurostat said that Bulgaria’s actual individual consumption was about 49 per cent of the EU average.
Second lowest was Romania, at 55 per cent of the EU average, and Croatia, at 59 per cent.
Eurostat also gave figures for would-be EU countries, of which one – Turkey – ranked higher than Bulgaria, at 57 per cent, while Montenegro matched Bulgaria at 49 per cent.
Serbia was at 44 per cent of the EU average, Macedonia 40 per cent, Albania 34 per cent and Bosnia and Herzegovina at 37 per cent.
Eurostat said that, based on first preliminary estimates for 2014, AIC per capita expressed in Purchasing Power Standards (PPS) varied from 49 per cent to 140 per cent of the European Union (EU) average across the EU member states.
Ten EU countries recorded AIC per capita above the EU average in 2014.
The highest level in the EU was recorded in Luxembourg, 40 per cent above the EU average.
Germany and Austria were more than 20 per cent above. They were followed by Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Finland, France and the Netherlands which all recorded levels between 10 per cent and 15 per cent above the EU average.
AIC per capita for 12 EU member states lay between the EU average and 30 per cent below.
In Italy, Ireland, Cyprus and Spain, the levels were 10 per cent or less below the EU average, while Greece, Portugal and Lithuania were between 10 per cent and 20 per cent below.
Malta, the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia were between 20 per cent and 30 per cent below the average.
Six member states recorded AIC per capita more than 30 per cent below the EU average. Estonia, Latvia and Hungary were between 30 per cent and 40 per cent below.