ECConsumer Conditions Scoreboard – Consumers at home in the Single Market | 2019 edition

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European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice and Consumers

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Publications office of the European Union

The consumer conditions scoreboard (‘the scoreboard’) is the main instrument for monitoring the consumer environment across Europe. It benchmarks consumer conditions in the EU Member States plus Iceland and Norway. Consumer conditions cover factors that make it easier or harder for consumers to make choices that improve their welfare. Annex I outlines the scoreboard’s conceptual and methodological framework, Annex II contains the full data set and Annex III the country factsheets with key indicators. The scoreboard is published every two years. It mainly builds on representative surveys of consumers and of retailers complemented by data from other sources.

The main findings of the 2019 scoreboard are:

  1. After the significant improvements in consumer conditions in 2016, a fall is observed in 2018 driven mainly by a decline in consumer trust in some western European countries.
  2. Consumer conditions in other regions continue to improve. Southern and eastern EU countries are narrowing the gap with the EU average, therefore making overall consumer conditions less unequal across the different regions of the EU. However, the difference between the highest scoring country (Sweden, with 71.4) and the lowest (Croatia, with 53.2) remains significant.
  3. More than 70 percent of consumers trust retailers to respect their consumer rights and over 60 percent have had positive experiences with traders when making a complaint.
  4. Retailers positively assess compliance with consumer legislation in their sector, and this is linked to an appreciation for enforcement activities.
  5. Pressure selling is the most frequently encountered unfair commercial practice by consumers and this is corroborated by retailers’ observation on their competitors.
  6. More than half of consumers are influenced by green claims when making purchases.
  7. More and more consumers take up e-commerce, but they have lower confidence in buying online from other EU countries than from domestic traders.

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