World Consumer Rights Day
Relatively few antibiotics used in livestock production in Slovenia
This year 15 March, the World Consumer Rights Day, is focused on antibiotic resistance. In Slovenia use of antibiotics in livestock production is relatively small. In recent years consumer confidence has improved, yet Slovenia is below the EU-28 average regarding prices and individual consumption.
On 15 March, 1962, US President John F. Kennedy addressed the issue of consumer rights as the first world leader. From 1983 on each year on this day we commemorate the World Consumer Rights Day, which this year focuses on antibiotic resistance.
We highlighted some statistics for the World Consumer Rights Day: consumer confidence, price level and individual consumption, and the use of antibiotics in livestock production.
Consumer confidence has been increasing in recent years
The consumer confidence indicator is used to measure the consumer confidence. It consists of expectations of consumers for the next 12 months about the financial situation of households, the economy in general, the saving capability and the unemployment level.
The movement of the consumer confidence indicator in the last 10 years (2006–2015) in the EU-28, Slovenia and our neighbouring countries of Croatia, Italy, Hungary and Austria reflects the influence of the financial crisis on the consumer confidence. Its value was the lowest at the end of 2008 and in the first half of 2009, it increased in the next years, declined in 2012 and from 2013 on it has been growing again.
In this period consumer confidence in Slovenia was below the EU-28 average, while in 2015 it was close to the EU-28 level. The strongest consumer confidence among the selected countries in the last 10 years was recorded in Austria, but it weakened in 2015 and dropped below the level in Slovenia. At the moment the consumer confidence is the highest in Italy and the lowest in Hungary and Croatia.
Chart 1: Consumer confidence indicator, Slovenia and the international comparison
Sources: SURS, European Commission
Price level and individual consumption in Slovenia below the EU-28 level
The price level for consumer goods and services in 2014 in Slovenia was 17% below the EU-28 average. Only prices of consumer electronics were above EU-28 average (by 3%), while the prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages were only 1% below. The lowest prices compared to the EU-28 average were recorded in the group alcoholic beverages and tobacco (17% below the EU-28 average).
For more information see the Comperative price levels for consumer goods and services, European countries, 2014 release.
Actual individual consumption per capita in purchasing power standards in 2014 in Slovenia was also considerably lower than the EU-28 average. It was 25% below the EU-28 level and thus slightly higher than in Poland (by 1 percentage point) and slightly lower than in the Czech Republic (by 1 percentage point) and Slovakia (by 2 percentage points).
For more information see the Purchasing power parities and gross domestic product per capita in purchasing power standards, European countries, 2012-2014 release.
Small consumption of antibiotics in livestock production in Slovenia
This year the World Consumer Rights Day is focused on antibiotic resistance and reducing the use of antibiotics in livestock production.
The sale of antimicrobial agents in Slovenia in 2013 was 22 mg/PCU. This essentially means that on average 22 mg of antibiotics were used on 1 kg of weight of all food-producing animals, including horses.
For the purpose of comparing different countries regarding the sale of antibiotics in livestock production, the population correction unit (PCU) was calculated. PCU is the sum of all food-producing animals multiplied with the theoretical weight in kilograms at which there is the biggest possibility for the treatment of animals with antibiotics. The quantity of antibiotics in mg is divided by PCU to get the indicator for comparison (mg/PCU).
In 2013, 110 mg/PCU of antibiotics were sold on average in the 26 EU and EEA (European Economic Area) countries. This indicates that regarding the use of antibiotics in livestock production Slovenia is below the European average and also below the level of countries from which Slovenia imports most meat. In 2013, 57 mg/PCU of antibiotics were sold in Austria, 179 mg/PCU in Germany, 230 mg/PCU in Hungary and 302 mg/PCU in Italy. Fewer antibiotics for food-producing animals were sold only in Sweden (13 mg/PCU), Iceland (5 mg/PCU) and Norway (4 mg/PCU).
In Slovenia the sale of antibiotics for food-producing animals has been decreasing in recent years. In 2010, 47 mg/PCU, in 2011 46 mg/PCU, in 2012 37 mg/PCU and in 2013 as previously stated only 22 mg/PCU were sold.For more information about the use of antibiotics for food-producing animals visit the European Medicines Agency website on European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption (ESVAC).
Table 1: Antibiotics in livestock production, European countries, 2013
Source: European Medicines Agency (Sales of veterinary antimicrobial agents in 26 EU/EEA countries in 2013, Fifth ESVAC report)