U.K. Living Standards Among Highest in EU, But So Are Prices

(Bloomberg) -- Britain enjoyed the fourth-highest standard of living in the European Union in the year it voted to leave the bloc, but its citizens also paid some of the highest prices.

Consumption per head was 16 percent higher than the EU average last year, up slightly on 2015, according to figures published Friday. Luxembourg took the top spot, followed by Germany and Austria.

U.K. Living Standards Among Highest in EU, But So Are Prices

Bulgaria recorded the lowest living standards, at just 53 percent of the EU average, after Croatia, Romania and Hungary. All four countries were ranked lower than EU aspirant Turkey.

The data, compiled by the EU statistics agency Eurostat and republished by the U.K. statistics bureau, also show that prices for goods and services in Britain are among the highest at 22 percent above the EU average. Denmark and Norway were the most expensive with price levels more 40 percent above average. Non-EU nations Switzerland and Iceland were even pricier.

Critics of Brexit argue that leaving the EU will harm U.K. living standards by pushing up prices and damaging trade and productivity. Inflation, fueled by the pound’s fall since the Brexit vote, now stands at 3.1 percent, the highest since 2012.

Britain also fared less well based on GDP per head, ranking 10th in the EU, the figures showed.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.