Purchasing power Europe: the Swiss maintain their top spot

Published: 25 April 2017
After Luxembourg has lost its pole position to Switzerland last year, Switzerland seems to have gained a taste for it. In 2016, the Swiss again consolidated its first place with an absolute purchasing power of € 38,965 per inhabitant, even though they suffered a slight downturn of 1.1% compared to the previous year. The purchasing power in Luxembourg increased by 1.5% to a total of € 33,547 per inhabitant, but that is not enough to recapture the first place.
The development of some newcomers regarding the country ranking was quite good. Iceland seems to have the right nose not only for football, but also for its economic activities: With a per capita purchasing power of € 27,313 and an increase of 19.4%, Iceland now ranks just behind Norway and therefore comes suspiciously close to the third place. The fulminant overall grow depends halfway on the exchange rate, but the currency-adjusted gain still is impressive.
The biggest regional differences are shown in Spain and Italy: While the Basque Country and the capital of Spain are doing well in terms of regional prosperity, the situation is different in Andalusia and Extremadura. The Spanish average resident has € 13,465, which is 2.9% more than in the previous year.
In Italy the already familiar north-south pattern is evident. Italian people live very well until the heights of Latium and Abruzzo. In Trentino-Alto Adige and Emilia Romagna they even reach high peaks. However, with a purchasing power of 16,448 and an increase of 1.2 % compared to the previous year Italy is just before Spain.
The situation in Central Europe is stable. Austria still is in 8th place with a purchasing power of € 21,095 and enjoyed a confident increase of 2.2 %. Around the state capitals inhabitants are living particularly well, but on average the rural areas cannot complain about too little purchasing power either. In South-East Europe there are also relatively few surprises. Cyprus is still the "richest" country with € 10,999. Belarus is at the lowest end with € 1,863 per head. The reason for the negative development of – 10.52 % compared to the previous year is due to the exchange rate. Adjusted to take this into account, a change of -0.80% appears.
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