The Chamber of Labour (AK) has published its price monitor – which is extremely unpopular with Austrian traders.
According to the price monitor a basket of the cheapest products, from 40 different categories, costs 23.7 percent more in Austria than it does in Germany – so Austrian consumers pay €87.77 instead of €70.97.
The AK compared eight supermarkets and discount shops. All prices are inclusive of VAT, which is higher in Austria (10 or 20 percent), than in Germany (seven or 19 percent).
Austrian traders have repeatedly said that the AK’s price comparison is untrustworthy, as it does not take into account the fact that Austrian traders pay their employees more than German traders do.
However, the AK claims that Austrians have been paying over the odds for food for years because of illegal price fixing, and points to several fines imposed on companies by the Cartel Court to prove its point.
Transport also pricey
Austrians also pay more for bus, train and plane tickets than Germans, according to a recent comparison by Berlin travel search engine GoEuro.
In Germany, bus travellers pay an average of just €3.80 per 100 km, whilst Austrians pay a whopping €17.50.
German air travellers pay an average of €17.86 per 100 km, compared to €9.09 for train travel. Austrians pay some of the most expensive air fares – €68.49 per 100 km, and €24.00 per 100 km for train travel.
A recent World Bank comparison placed Austria well above Germany in terms of the cost of living.