Saturday, August 18, 2012

What can the price of beer tell us?

What can the price of beer tell us? Quite a lot according to this amusing piece (via).

Here is a chart of beer prices in various Eurozone countries since 1996.

Greece (blue), Italy (orange), Spain (red), Ireland (green), Germany (black)

Prices in Germany have remained pretty steady, with the price of beer rising about 1% a year. The price of beer in Greece has surged upwards (lots of inflation). Italy and Spain have also had a fair bit of inflation.  Beer prices surged in Ireland until 2003, flattened off, boomed in 2008 and are now dropping to the point where their beer prices have the same total growth over the period as Germany. In the words of the piece:
So really the beer chart says it all: Greece: a wreck. Germany: calm. Spain and Italy: in trouble, and Ireland making a comeback.
The Eurozone crisis in one graph.*

*Actually no, since it completely ignores monetary policy and the ECB. But it makes a good story and graph.

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