Czechs work half an hour to “buy Big Mac”

Swiss bank UBS Wealth Management has released the latest figures in its working-time based index revealing how long it takes Czechs, on average, enough to by a Big Mac hamburger from the fast-food franchise McDonalds. According to the figures released, Prague employees have to work three times as long as their counterparts in Berlin.

Photo: archive of Radio Prague
UBS’s working-time based Big Mac index aims to give a more realistic view of the purchasing power of regular workers, lining up how long it takes to earn enough to purchase a wide array of products. The bank this year, Czechs sources report, scoped the prices of hundreds of items in its annual Prices and Earnings report. Some of them are day-to-day, such as a loaf of bread or a kilo of rice, some more luxurious, such as Apple’s iPhone 6 16 GB. It also gathered data on average wages in fifteen professions and compared prices in some 71 cities.

Items such as the Big Mac or Phone, news website points out, are important as indicators as their quality is uniform regardless of where they are bought. According to the study, currently it takes the average employee in Prague a half hour to earn enough for a Big Mac hamburger, costing 75 crowns. By contrast, the average worker in Berlin earns enough to buy the sandwich in 13 minutes, and in Bratislava, in 24. In Zurich, members of the workforce can buy the sandwich after just five. In Nairobi, the study pointed out, locals can buy the product only after almost three hours’ work.

Workers on average salaries in Prague, meanwhile, can buy the iPHone after 143.2 hours; by contrast the average Berliner can buy the product in just 43.3.

One area where Prague comes out ahead for local residents is cheaper rent. While a three-room flat can set you back 16,000 crowns a month in the Czech capital, the same in Bratislava will cost the equivalent of 18,462 crowns and in Berlin the equivalent of more than 29,000 crowns a month, noted, citing the UBS report.