Table of Contents
Policy can influence the prices consumers pay for instance by monetary policy, which affects inflation, or by regulating duties and subsidies and by setting the prices of public goods.
Monetary policy is one of the tools used by public authorities to influence the economy. By using monetary authority to control the supply and availability of money, governments endeavour to line up the overall level of economic activity with political objectives, usually those of macroeconomic stability, i.e. economic growth, low unemployment, low inflation, and a balance of external payments.
Excise duties are a public authority intervention having a direct and deliberate effect on consumer prices. Excises are in fact indirect duties levied on specific goods, and have the purpose either to raise revenue or to discourage the consumption of that good or both. Taxes on fuel, alcohol and tobacco are typical examples, and they are often justified both on the ground of raising revenue and on the ground of protecting health and environment.
Does the policy option affect the prices consumers pay?
EU Consumer Policy Strategy 2007-2013 adopted on 13 March 2007, which sets out the challenges, role, priorities and actions of EU consumer policy for this period. The overall objectives of the Strategy are to empower consumers, to enhance their welfare and to protect them effectively.
DG Health and Consumers: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/health_consumer/mailbox/index_en.htm
Further Sources of Data
Please link to other sources of data, e.g. important reports, annual reports etc.
Further Sources of Information
The following Eurostat indicators are relevant to address the key question:
- Household expenditure per inhabitant, by category/product group
- Comparative price levels
- Price convergence between EU member states
Other Official Indicators
Relevant data is also available through the OECD database under the heading: Prices and Purchasing Power Parities: