The latest Eurostat survey containing data from 2018 reveals that there are only two EU member states where the quality of life is worse than in Hungary. Only Croatia’s and Bulgaria’s population consume less than Hungarian people.
Last year, there were ten EU member states where people could afford to spend more on everyday expenditures than the EU average, reports Qubit. In Luxemburg, purchasing power is 32 times stronger than the EU average, while in Austria and Germany, it is about 20 times stronger. People can also by about 5-15% more than the average in the following countries: Denmark, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, and France.
Purchasing power, the amount of goods and services one unit of money can buy, is the most trustworthy indicator of households’ material wealth.
In Hungary and Croatia, people could spend less than two-thirds of the EU average on everyday expenditures, while Bulgarians could spend a little above half the EU average.
There are three other countries in the European Union where the population has less than three-quarters of the EU average to spend on everyday purchases: Estonia, Lithuania, and Romania are all below the goal of the 75% purchasing power.
However, we cannot say that Hungarians would be more conscious consumers, or that they do not buy as many luxury items as people in Western countries do.
Considering the indicator of individual consumption increasingly contains the services (e.g. education or healthcare) which may have vast differences in cost from country to country, the majority of experts find it to be the best at showing the everyday purchasing power of households.
Thus, this indicator is the best at revealing the living standard of each country.
“Not even the truly wealthy can consume more than two litres of milk, 5-10 eggs, or a kilogram of potatoes under a unit of time, neither in Hungary nor elsewhere, but they might buy products of better quality. It is true that demand for luxury items or wanting to save money might increase according to the level of income, but the statistical indicator is more about revealing the consumption abilities of the lower layers of society in both rich and poor member states.
Therefore, Eurostat data shows that the level of income is so bad in Hungary – not just when compared to rich member states but also compared to neighbouring countries – that not even the level of acceptable nourishment or everyday necessities can improve,”
says Ambrus Kiss political scientist.
In the region, it is only in Croatia and Hungary where real wages do not reach the level of pre-2008. These two countries are especially slow at adjusting wages, despite the fact that both economies would be able to do something in order to change this. Nowadays, Hungary is not only far from original EU member states in this aspect but also from Poland, Slovakia, and especially the Czech Republic.