The Maltese are paying a fair bit more for sofas and curtains than their European counterparts, with consumer prices for furniture and carpets rising to the second highest among EU member states, according to data released by Eurostat.
Malta registered the second highest price level index for furniture and carpets, with prices 17.5% higher than the European Union average. It was surpassed only by Luxembourg, where furniture goods are priced 29.4% higher than the EU average.
The lowest prices for furniture and carpets were recorded in Bulgaria, where goods are sold for 44.8% less than the EU average.
The data was collected and compared as a price level index, which expresses the price level of any given country by comparing it to that of others by dividing the cost of different goods in a country by the nominal exchange rate.
Alcoholic drinks and tobacco are sold roughly 1.9% higher in Malta than the EU average, with the highest recorded in Norway, where prices for drinks and cigarettes are 119.7% higher than the rest of the EU. The cheapest are in Bulgaria, with prices averaging at about 40% less than the EU average.
Meanwhile, the cost of housing in Malta, which includes the cost of rent, maintenance and repair as well as water and electricity supply, is 40% lower than the EU average, only eight places above Bulgaria, were the lowest housing costs were recorded at 62.2% below the EU average.
The highest cost of housing was recorded in Switzerland, which is not a member state, where housing cost prices are 93.6% higher than the EU average, followed by Ireland, where prices are 77.7% higher.
The price of food in Malta is 12.2% higher than the EU average, while the price of communication, including postal services, telephony and internet, is 18.7% higher than the EU average.
The cost of purchasing a car or any other kind or personal transport as well as the price of clothing and footwear was only marginally higher than the EU average, at 0.3%band 0.5% respectively.
However, the cost of public transport is the 10th lowest among the countries compared, with paid transport services priced 24% lower than the EU average.
Recreational and cultural activities are 7.2% lower than average, the data found, while the average stay at a hotel or meal at a restaurant was 11.5% lower than in EU counterparts.
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