ECONOMY

Fuel prices rise as incomes fall

Each visit to a gas station is a painful experience for local consumers these days as the price of gasoline in Greece is among the highest in the world while disposable incomes continue to slide. Out of 60 countries surveyed by Bloomberg, Greece was found to have the sixth highest gasoline prices, whilethe country ranks 21st in relation to purchasing power.

The reduction in Greeks’ incomes and their habit of using cars for most of their transport needs mean that consumers in this country on average spend 4.8 percent of their total income on gasoline, which is the highest among the 60 countries surveyed.

Using prices in the period from January 3 to 18, the Bloomberg survey showed that Greeks have to spend some 15 percent of their daily wage in order to purchase one liter of gasoline.

The final price of gasoline is so high in Greece as it depends on international oil rates that have gone up recently, while fuel taxes have risen considerably over the last three years.

The most recent report by the Market Monitoring Agency showed that the average price of unleaded gasoline was 1.745 euros/lt. The refinery price a day earlier had stood at 0.6525 euros/lt, with tax and other charges accounting for 1.019 euros/lt and some 0.0816 remaining as the profit margin for fuel trading companies and gas stations. The price of unleaded gasoline has increased by 3.62 percent since the start of the year.

The world’s most expensive gasoline was found in Turkey, where its rate is close to 2 euros per liter, owing to the very high consumption tax imposed on fuel in the last few years.