Consumption in UK rises to sixth highest in the EU

THE STANDARD of living in the UK, measured by how much each individual consumes, rose to joint-sixth in the European Union last year, up a spot from 2011.

Despite the improvement in the UK’s position, the European Commission rankings show that Britain had a better ranking in 2010, when it came in joint fifth with Sweden.

The UK came in 14 per cent above the EU average for individual consumption per head, which the commission calls an “indicator better adapted to describe the material welfare situation of households”.

In 2011, it was only 13 per cent above average, but the UK tied for 7th during 2010, when it came in 15 per cent above the typical European level.

Luxembourg has topped the list in all three years, with consumption per head around 40 per cent above the average EU country, and GDP per capita more than 150 per cent higher.

Of the large economies in the bloc, Germany comes highest, with average consumption 23 per cent above the mean.

The Office for National Statistics added that prices paid by UK households for goods and services were the sixth highest in the EU during 2012, up three places in just one year.