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Health & Consumer Voice - June - 2014 Edition

EU markets on a gentle rebound

EU markets on a gentle rebound

Since 2008, DG SANCO publishes on a regular basis the Consumer Scoreboards, which monitor how the single market is performing for EU consumers and warn of potential problems. The 10th Consumer Markets Scoreboard was published in June, showing that although consumers have once again expressed their dissatisfaction at the performance of some consumer markets, such as banking services, the situation across Europe has seen an improved performance across all markets.

As in previous years, goods markets have appeared to be performing much better than service markets, although the gap between both is narrowing. We have also welcomed an upturn of the previously worst performing markets, such as vehicle fuels and train services. Italy and the Czech Republic have, for example, seen their train services improve greatly, a fact that could be connected to the opening of their markets to competition. On the other hand, some sectors keep on scoring low, such as the banking services, the telecom market, the electricity and gas markets or the second-hand car market.

The consumer market scoreboard tracks the performance of 52 consumer markets, (accounting for almost 60% of household expenditure) on issues such as comparability, trust, problems and complaints, overall satisfaction, choice and switching. On basis of the conclusions of this scoreboard the Commission will launch two in-depth market studies: a market study on retail electricity and a behavioural study to enhance consumers’ reading and the understanding of terms and conditions.