Austrians travelling to Slovakia for shopping tourism is a less popular pastime ever since Slovakia introduced the euro almost two years ago, said Peter Havlík from the Vienna Institute for International Economic Studies to the TASR newswire on October 30.
He added that price levels in the two countries are slowly balancing out even though the overall price level in Slovakia is still lower than in Austria, suggesting that several factors should be taken into account.
"First of all it's regional differences. I think that Bratislava and western Slovakia aren't significantly cheaper than the eastern part of Austria, the states of Burgenland and Lower Austria," said Havlík. The prices of services such as transport, education and healthcare are lower in Slovakia, he said, but the difference in the prices of food and consumer goods has been reduced.
"The striking price difference that was to be seen five or ten years ago isn't visible anymore," said Havlik. Slovakia is approaching Austria in prices more rapidly than in salaries, however. While the average monthly salary reached €2,800 in Austria last year, it was only around €800 in Slovakia according to the analyst.
"Both the salary level and the overall quality of life are balancing out gradually. While ten years ago Slovakia's purchasing power parity was at around 50 percent of the EU average, it's now more than 70 percent," said Havlík, adding that due to the stronger effects of the economic crisis in Slovakia economic disparity between Austria and Slovakia recently widened again.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
2. Nov 2010 at 14:00