What says the Ikea Billy Bookshelf Index? - 6 Oct. 2009

IKEA flags at the store in Pittsburgh, Pennsyl...
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In September Ikea published its own purchasing index, based on its Billy Bookshelf, obvious building on the Big Mac Index, published each year by The Economist. That has generated quite some publicity and - to be honest - at the WageIndicator we have also been tempted to discuss a similar initiative. 

But do these indexes says that much about about the purchasing power or the economy of a certain country? Probably not. Because the Big Mac Index has been republished year after year, it is a good tool to see changes over the years. 

That might happen also to the Billy Bookshelf Index, but who has been visiting Ikea stores in different continents knows that it says more about the level of competition in a region than about the economy itself. 

In most west European countries Ikea offers relatively good-looking low-end furniture. In other countries, like China, they were forced to move into the higher segment, because they could not compete in the lower segments. And they raised their prices. Most certainly, you should not buy your Billy Bookshelf in Kuwait or Israel. Nice gadget, but it does not say that much. 

Fons Tuinstra

 

Currency converted by Bloomberg

========================================================

Country               Catalogue       Local        Index
                     price (USD)    Currency
========================================================
Average Price            60.09      60.09  USD     100.0
========================================================
U.A.E.                   47.64     175.00  AED      79.3
U.K.                     49.34      29.90  GBP      82.1
Belgium                  49.91      34.95  EUR      83.1
========================================================
Country               Catalogue       Local        Index
                     price (USD)    Currency
========================================================
Spain (mainland)         49.98      35.00  EUR      83.2
France                   49.98      35.00  EUR      83.2
Netherlands              49.98      35.00  EUR      83.2
Portugal                 49.98      35.00  EUR      83.2
Denmark                  51.60     269.00  DKK      85.9
Poland                   51.89     149.95  PLN      86.4
Malaysia                 52.60     185.00  MYR      87.5
Hungary                  52.79    9990.00  HUF      87.9
Germany                  54.26      38.00  EUR      90.3
Taiwan                   54.63    1795.00  TWD      90.9
Iceland                  54.86    6950.00  ISK      91.3
Singapore                54.86      79.00  SGD      91.3
Sweden                   55.11     395.00  SEK      91.7
Czech Republic           55.48     995.00  CZK      92.3
Ireland                  55.69      39.00  EUR      92.7
Italy                    55.69      39.00  EUR      92.7
Austria                  55.69      39.00  EUR      92.7
========================================================
Country               Catalogue       Local        Index
                     price (USD)    Currency
========================================================
Finland                  55.69      39.00  EUR      92.7
Switzerland              56.24      59.95  CHF      93.6
Russia                   56.59    1790.00  RUB      94.2
Slovakia                 57.05      39.95  EUR      94.9
U.S.                     59.99      59.99  USA      99.8
Norway                   60.15     365.00  NOK     100.1
Japan                    62.50    5900.00  JPY     104.0
Greece                   64.26      45.00  EUR     106.9
Cyprus                   64.26      45.00  EUR     106.9
Canada                   64.33      69.99  CAD     107.1
Hong Kong                64.38     499.00  HKD     107.1
China                    65.72     449.00  CNY     109.4
Turkey                   66.49      99.00  TRY     110.7
Romania                  67.28     199.00  RON     112.0
Australia (2)            74.58      89.00  AUD     124.1
Saudi Arabia             78.67     295.00  SAR     130.9
Australia (1)            79.61      95.00  AUD     132.5
========================================================
Country               Catalogue       Local        Index
                     price (USD)    Currency
========================================================
Kuwait                   90.28      26.00  KWD     150.2
Israel                  103.48     395.00  ILS     172.2
========================================================
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