articles | 01 July 2014

Cyprus’ consumer markets score higher than the EU28

Cyprus performs better for goods markets and services markets compared both to 2012 and to the EU28 average by 6.7%, according to the 10th Consumer Markets Scoreboard published by the European Commission recently.

Overall, the top three goods markets in Cyprus are books, magazines and newspapers, furniture and furnishings and non-alcoholic drinks. The bottom three are the second-handcars, maintenance products and fuel for vehicles markets.

In more detail, the following Cypriot markets are all rated as the best performing across the EU28: non-prescription medicines; non-alcoholic drinks; books, magazines and newspapers; furniture and furnishings; electronic products; personal care products; clothing and footwear; fruit and vegetables; ICT products; spectacles and lenses; new cars; small household appliances; entertainment goods; large household appliances; second-hand cars; bread, cereals, rice and pasta; and meat and meat products.

The alcoholic drinks, dairy products and maintenance products markets are all assessed as the second best performing across the EU28 while the fuel for vehicles market is assessed as the third best performing.

As regards the Services Markets, the top three services markets in Cyprus are the personal care services, cafés, bars and restaurants and the airline services markets. The bottom three are the electricity services, the legal and accountancy services and mortgages markets.

The postal services and real estate services markets are both assessed as the second best performing across the EU28 while the maintenance services, vehicle insurance and vehicle rental services markets are assessed as the third best performing.

The report says that in comparison with the EU28 results, almost all services markets are assessed more positively in Cyprus. A total of 19 out of the 29 services markets have a higher rating than the EU28 average.

In general, the Scoreboard finds that there is an improved performance across all consumer markets. This improvement is particularly marked for goods markets, while services continue to be the main sources of dissatisfaction.

"Consumers should be the master not the servant of the market," said Commissioner for Consumer Policy Neven Mimica. "The Consumer Markets Scoreboard we publish today shows that, overall, market conditions are getting better for consumers. However much more needs to be done, especially on services and energy. I am working hard with my colleagues in the Commission to address these issues, be it through the Payment Accounts Directive, the Connected Continent package or through facilitating the switching of supplier”, he pointed out.

The Consumer Markets Scoreboard:

The Consumer Markets Scoreboard tracks the performance of 52 consumer markets from second hand cars to holiday accommodation. The markets are ranked by consumers, in an EU-wide survey, based on 4 components: comparability of offers, trust in businesses, problems & complaints and satisfaction with businesses.

According to the key findings, market performance is improving, goods markets are working considerably better than services markets, although the gap has been slowly narrowing. Compared with 2012, some of the worst performing markets, such as vehicle fuels and train services, have improved the most.

Banking services remain the most problematic sector, with the markets for investment products and mortgages at the bottom of the ranking and well below the average for the service sector. Ensuring that financial services are working to the benefit of consumers in thecurrent economic climate is an essential component of EU consumer policy.

Telecom markets score below average with scores well below the average for trust, choice of providers and overall consumer satisfaction, and have the highest incidence of problems and complaints of all market clusters. On the plus side the scores for comparability and ease of switching are above average and the switching rates are the highest for all the market clusters. In September 2013, the Commission adopted the `Connected Continent` package aimed at eliminating roaming charges by 2016 and improving consumers’ choice of telecom providers.

Public utilities, in particular electricity and gas, are also rated as below average by consumers. Despite recent improvements, utilities markets continue to score poorly in comparability of offers, choice of providers, ease of switching and actual switching. The Commission is working with key stakeholders to increase the transparency of energy offers and bills, ensure customers’ access to their consumption data and facilitate switching.

Source: Famagusta Gazette

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