European purchasing power climbs by a nominal 1.9 percent

GfK Purchasing Power Europe 2017 is now available

Bruchsal, Germany, November 7, 2017 Europeans have an average of €13,937 per person available for spending and saving in 2017. This is one of the many results of GfK’s newly released study, “GfK Purchasing Power Europe 2017”. The available net income among the researched 42 countries varies enormously: Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Iceland have the highest average purchasing power, while Belarus, Moldova and the Ukraine have the lowest.

In 2017, Europeans have a total of around €9.4 trillion for spending on food, accommodation, living expenses, services, energy costs, private retirement savings, insurance, vacation, mobility and other consumer purchases. This corresponds to an average per-capita purchasing power of €13,937, which indicates moderate growth of 1.9 percent and a significant improvement over last year’s figures. But some countries deviate from this average value: For example, Iceland has robust, above-average growth of more than 37 percent, while countries such as Liechtenstein and Switzerland have stagnating growth rates.

Top ten European countries

2017 ranking

(previous year)

country

inhabitants

GfK Purchasing Power 2017 per inhabitant in €

purchasing power index

Europe*

1 (1)

Liechtenstein

37,622

63,267

453.9

2 (2)

Switzerland

8,327,126

42,142

302.4

3 (5)

Iceland

338,349

33,399

239.6

4 (3)

Luxembourg

590,667

30,499

218.8

5 (4)

Norway

5,258,317

29,407

211.0

6 (6)

Denmark

5,748,769

24,493

175.7

7 (7)

Austria

8,700,471

22,597

162.1

8 (9)

Germany

82,175,684

22,239

159.6

9 (8)

Sweden

9,995,153

21,764

156.2

10 (10)

Great Britain

65,648,054

20,857

149.6

 

Europe (total)

675,389,942

13,937

100.0

source: © GfK Purchasing Power Europe 2017         index per inhabitant: European average = 100

exchange rate for non-euro countries: prognosis of European Commission for 2017 from May 11, 2017

As the rankings make clear, the amount available to consumers for purchases varies starkly from country to country. Far surpassing the other countries in the rankings, Liechtenstein has a per-capita purchasing power of €63,267, which is more than 350 percent above the European average. With €42,142 per person, Switzerland comes in at second place. Inhabitants of this country thus have more than three times what is available to the average European. The other countries in the rankings also have above-average purchasing power that exceeds the European average by 1.5 times or more. 

Seventeen countries have above-average purchasing power, including Spain, which just barely exceeds the average with €14,080 per person. By contrast, 25 countries have below-average per-capita purchasing power. In the least affluent countries considered by the study, inhabitants have just €949 per person and less than seven percent of the European average. For example, the Ukraine has just one sixty-sixth of the per-capita purchasing power available to inhabitants of Liechtenstein.

Some reshuffling has occurred among the top-ten countries compared to last year, primarily due to exchange rate disparities. Luxembourg and Norway fell one slot apiece to fourth and fifth place, while Iceland moved two slots higher to third place. Germany and Sweden switched places in the rankings, with Germany pulling ahead to eighth place.

Comparison of selected countries and regions

A comparison of countries in close proximity and with similar purchasing power reveals insights into the regional distribution of purchasing potential. Below is an overview of purchasing power distribution in France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Poland and Hungary. The results of the GfK purchasing power studies for these countries show large differences in per-capita purchasing power both within and between these nations.

2017 ranking (previous year)

country

inhabitants

GfK Purchasing Power 2017 per inhabitant in €

European purchasing power index*

13 (12)

France

64,027,958

19,537

140.2

15 (15)

The Netherlands

16,979,120

18,257

131.0

16 (16)

Italy

60,589,445

17,119

1228

17 (17)

Spain

46,557,008

14,080

101.0

 

Europe (total)

675,389,942

13,937

100.0

29 (29)

Poland

38,432,992

6,710

48.1

30 (30)

Hungary

9,797,561

6,204

44.5

source: © GfK Purchasing Power Europe 2017                    *index per inhabitant: European average = 100

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