The Czech Republic ranks fifth-cheapest in the European Union for alcohol and tobacco prices. Ireland tops the list, though non-EU states Iceland and Norway were even higher. Bulgaria was the cheapest.
The low prices have been linked to high consumption rates. The Czech Republic has long led the world in beer consumption per capita, though the figure is somewhat inflated due to consumption by nonresident tourists. In terms of overall alcohol consumption, the country is in fourth place according to an OECD survey. The country also ranks seventh in the world for cigarettes smoked per capita.
According to figures from the EU statistical arm Eurostat, Czechs in 2019 alcoholic beverage and tobacco prices were 78.6% of the EU average. Bulgaria was at 61.8%, followed by Poland, Romania and Hungary. In Ireland, prices were 188.4% of the EU average, while Norway was at 236.1%.
Czechs also were at the lower end of the ladder for consumer prices in restaurants, hotels, cafes and pubs, at at 64% of the EU average, for fourth place. Bulgaria again was cheapest, at 45.4%, followed by Romania and Hungary.
Denmark led the EU in this category, at 155.5% of the EU average, but Switzerland, Norway and Iceland were higher still, the latter at 176.4%.
For food in general, the Czech Republic was fifth-cheapest, at 83.2% of the EU average. Romania was cheapest, and Denmark most expensive in the EU, with Switzerland, Norway and Iceland again even higher.
Recreation and culture, including prices of vacations, sports and photographic equipment, pets, and gardening, found the Czech Republic in fifth place again, at 72.7% of the EU average. The usual suspects of Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Poland were cheaper. Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland topped the list.
The Czech Republic was 10th-cheapest at 96.6% of the EU average for clothing and footwear prices. For housing, it was also 10th-cheapest, at 71.3%. For furniture, it was eighth-cheapest at 80.5%. Personal transport equipment found the country fifth-cheapest, at 85.6%. Transport services were third-cheapest, at 55.0%.
The only sector where the Czech Republic was above the EU average was communication, which includes postal services and internet connection prices. The country was at 102.4% of the EU average, while neighboring Poland was cheapest in the EU at 46% of the average.
The calculations were made based on 2019 figures using purchasing power parity, an economic statistical method to create an exchange rate based on a standard basket of goods.
The Czech Republic’s low price standings may change, as it currently it has the second-highest inflation in the EU, at 3.1% in May compared to the previous year. Poland has they highest at 3.4%. A month earlier in April, the Czech Republic led the EU in inflation.
The Czech Statistical Office on June 10 reported that compared to last May, in the alcoholic beverages and tobacco category, the prices of spirits increased by 8.9% and beer by 3.5%. The biggest influence on the growth of inflation in May came from prices in food and non-alcoholic beverages, where prices of flour went up by 13.9%, pork by 13.7%, sausages and smoked meat by 13.6% and fruit by 25.4%.