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Retail Purchasing Power Across Europe: Poles Spend Less Than Average, But More Relative to Income

COMMERCERetail Purchasing Power Across Europe: Poles Spend Less Than Average, But More Relative to Income

The average purchasing power in retail trade in Europe is 6,517 euros per capita. Citizens of Luxembourg have the highest spending power in this sector, with a retail purchasing power of 12,067 euros. Conversely, residents of Romania have the lowest amount to spend. Significant differences exist not only between the 25 analyzed countries but also within different regions of each country. These findings come from the first-ever “GfK Retail Purchasing Power Europe” study.

Residents of the 25 European countries included in the GfK study – an NIQ Company, have a total of almost 3.4 trillion euros for retail expenditures. The average retail purchasing power is 6,517 euros per capita. Luxembourg leads the ranking, with its citizens having 12,067 euros at their disposal, which is over 85% above the average. Switzerland and Denmark rank second and third, respectively. Germany is closest to the average with 6,667 euros. The average Pole spends 4,051 euros annually in stores.

– Compared to other European countries, retail spending in Poland is below average. When this amount is related to the overall purchasing power, it becomes evident that Polish consumers spend a significant portion of their net income on retail. A similar situation occurs in many Eastern European countries, with Hungary even spending more than half. This is mainly due to the lower incomes of Eastern European residents. Conversely, in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and Germany, the share of retail spending in total purchasing power is relatively low – explains Agnieszka Szlaska-Bąk, Client Business Partner in the geomarketing team at GfK – an NIQ Company.

Retail Purchasing Power in Europe

No. Country Population Retail Purchasing Power per Capita in Euros European Retail Purchasing Power Index
1 Luxembourg 660,809 12,067 185.2
2 Switzerland 8,738,791 11,617 178.3
3 Denmark 5,932,654 9,479 145.5
4 Finland 5,563,970 8,711 133.7
5 France 65,834,837 8,634 132.5
6 Sweden 10,521,556 8,352 128.2
7 Norway 5,488,984 8,284 127.1
8 Austria 8,978,929 8,041 123.4
9 Belgium 11,697,557 7,666 117.6
10 Ireland 5,149,139 7,467 114.6
11 Netherlands 17,811,291 7,314 112.2
12 United Kingdom 67,026,292 6,685 102.6
13 Germany 83,237,124 6,667 102.3
Europe-25 515,168,467 6,517 100.0
14 Spain 47,475,420 6,017 92.3
15 Portugal 10,467,366 5,892 90.4
16 Italy 58,850,717 5,861 89.9
17 Slovenia 2,116,972 5,612 86.1
18 Croatia 3,862,305 5,318 81.6
19 Slovakia 5,428,792 4,914 75.4
20 Czech Republic 10,827,529 4,753 72.9
21 Hungary 9,599,744 4,572 70.2
22 Poland 37,766,327 4,051 62.2
23 Serbia 6,641,197 3,977 61.0
24 Bulgaria 6,447,710 3,808 58.4
25 Romania 19,042,455 2,986 45.8

Source: © GfK Retail Purchasing Power Europe 2023 * Index per inhabitant: European average = 100

According to the GfK – an NIQ Company study, 13 of the 25 analyzed countries have above-average purchasing power for retail shopping. Below the average are 12 countries, with Romania at the bottom with 2,986 euros, representing less than 46% of the average.

Furthermore, significant differences also exist within the analyzed countries. The regional division in the United Kingdom shows that purchasing power in western London is twice as high as the national average and even 2.6 times higher than in the lowest-ranked region of Sunderland. Data from GfK – an NIQ Company indicates that regions in European capitals and their surrounding areas often stand out with above-average retail purchasing power. Besides the United Kingdom, this situation also occurs in France, Hungary, and Scandinavian countries. – In Poland, the disparities between counties are also significant. Interestingly, residents of the largest metropolitan areas spend much more on shopping, but as a percentage of their total purchasing power, these expenditures are significantly lower than in poorer regions of the country. This happens not only due to higher incomes but also because of a different lifestyle and greater spending on services or broadly understood entertainment – comments Agnieszka Szlaska-Bąk.

About the Study

The “GfK Retail Purchasing Power Europe” study is available for 25 European countries and also includes their regions, along with data on overall purchasing power, purchasing power for retail products, as well as residents and households.

Retail Purchasing Power is a part of GfK’s overall purchasing power, which consumers can spend on purchases in the retail sector. Purchasing power is a measure of disposable income after deducting taxes and charitable contributions; it also includes any received benefits. The study indicates purchasing power values per person, per year, in euros, and as an index. GfK’s purchasing power is based on the nominal disposable income of residents, meaning that values are not adjusted for inflation. Calculations are made based on reported incomes and wages, government benefit statistics, and economic forecasts provided by economic institutes.

Consumers use their overall purchasing power to cover expenses related to food, housing, services, energy, private pensions, and insurance plans, as well as other expenses such as holidays, mobility, or consumer purchases.

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