According to the GfK purchasing power study, a total of approximately €8.62 trillion is available to European consumers in 2013 for spending and saving. This corresponds to an average per-capita purchasing power of €12,890 for the 42 countries under review.
Considerable discrepancies remain between the income available to inhabitants of these 42 countries for consumer spending.
Liechtenstein remains in the top position with a per-capita purchasing power of €58,844. Switzerland takes second place with €36,352, followed by Norway with €31,707 of per-capita purchasing power. Moldova is once again in last place with only around €1,284 per person. This amounts to less than one-tenth of the European average of approximately €12,370 per person; this latter figure roughly corresponds to the purchasing power of Spain.
General purchasing power refers to the money available to consumers for all expenditures related to food, accommodation and services as well as consumer purchases. Inhabitants of the European countries with the highest purchasing power must devote a large portion of their income to rent and generally more expensive living costs.
Even so, inhabitants of these countries have substantially more money for non-essential purchases than consumers in countries with low purchasing power. The Europe-wide per-capita growth (revised) is 0.39 percent, which lies below the inflation rate of 1.5 percent determined by the European Central Bank. The GfK purchasing power study reflects the nominal purchasing power in euros, which provides a unified basis for comparing these values down to the most detailed level, Europe-wide. The exchange rates for non-euro countries are based on Eurostat figures from August 8, 2013.
Regional comparisons within and between countries
Northern Europe from Norway's perspective
Norway ranks third in Europe, and its Nordic neighbors are also strong performers: Sweden ranks fifth, Denmark seventh and Finland 10th. With the exception of Iceland (ranked 13th), all of these countries are among the ten European countries with the most per-capita purchasing power.
Norwegians have an average of approximately €10,000 more at their disposal than Swedes, who have €21,640 per person. But Sweden is the victor when it comes to total market volume: The approximately 9.5 million Swedes have a total purchasing power of €206 billion, while the approximately 5 million Norwegians have €160 billion, despite an almost fifty percent higher per-capita purchasing power.
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