Malta, along with EU member states Portugal, Czech Republic and Slovenia, registered an average spending per household in 2019 between 10 and 20 per cent less than the EU average.
The latest survey on purchasing power parities for 2019 released by Eurostat reveal a wide variation of consumption across EU member states.
Based on first preliminary estimates for 2019, the year before COVID-19 containment measures began to be widely introduced by member states, Actual Individual Consumption (AIC), which measures material welfare of households per capita expressed in Purchasing Power Standards (PPS), varied from 59 per cent to 135 per cent of the EU average across the 27 member states.
Nine member states recorded AIC per capita above the EU average in 2019, the highest being Luxembourg, 35 per cent above the EU average. Germany was around 23 per cent above, followed by Austria, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden and France, which all recorded levels between 5 per cent and 20 per cent above the EU average.
In Italy, Ireland, Cyprus, Spain and Lithuania, AIC per capita was 10 per cent or less below the EU average. Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovenia and Malta were between 10 per cent and 20 per cent below, while Poland, Romania and Greece were between 20 per cent and 25 per cent below the EU average.
Six Member States recorded AIC per capita 25 per cent or more below the EU average. Estonia was 25 per cent below, Slovakia, Latvia, Hungary and Croatia between 25 per cent and 35 per cent below, while Bulgaria had AIC per capita 41 per cent below the EU average.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, a measure of economic activity, also shows substantial differences between the EU member states. In 2019, GDP per capita expressed in PPS ranged between 53 per cent of the EU average in Bulgaria and 261 per cent in Luxembourg.