But the distance to the average of the countries in the West is still big
The ten EU nations with the highest per capita purchasing power gains in 2018 all have below-average purchasing power and were admitted into the EU as part of or after the eastward enlargement. Increasingly tight job markets in these nations have led to sizeable pay increases. For example, citizens of the growth forerunners Latvia and the Czech Republic have €8,030 (+10.3%) and €9,492 (+9.3%) at their annual disposal, respectively. This moves them closer to the European average of €16,878 (+3.0%), although continued progression in that direction is likely to require the ongoing support of the European Union. These results are published in an analysis of German market researcher GfK on European retail.
Purchasing power corresponds to the population’s disposable
income, including government subsidies such as pension payments, unemployment assistance, and child benefit. The population uses its purchasing power to cover expenses related to food, accommodation, services, vacations, insurance, private pension plans, and retail purchases.
Poland also achieved substantial purchasing power gains in 2018 (+7.7%), but the gap between wealthy and poor regions is noticeably more pronounced. Among Poland’s 380 districts, inhabitants of the least affluent district Przysuski (€4,295) have less than one-third of the money available to inhabitants of the wealthiest district Warszawa (€13,535).
In a detailed analysis titled „GfK Purchasing Power Europe 2018“, GfK had recently analyzed the purchasing power in France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Poland, and Hungary. A comparison of these countries, which are close in terms of proximity and purchasing power, offers insights into the regional distribution of spending potential. The results show large differences in per capita purchasing power both within and between these nations.
Download „GfK Purchasing Power Europe 2018“
(02.07.2019, USA: 07.02.2019)